It’s almost that time of year again. The weather is changing, the temperatures are dropping, and the holidays are coming! Some people may look forward to the winter season, but some… not so much. Especially if you’re struggling with chronic pain. You might be familiar with people complaining of how the cold weather makes their pain worse. But, how does it happen? What’s the correlation between pain and cold weather? Well, there’s a valid explanation for that! These are the 3 ways how cold weather affects pain.
Our bodies are naturally trained to tell the brain that we are in danger or pain once it gets cold. It’s a form of protection, trying to keep us out of the weather conditions that could potentially harm us. So, when the colder weather hits, our bodies begin to store heat by pumping more blood to the vital organs in the center of the body, such as the heart and lungs, to ensure survival. Therefore, it causes the blood vessels in other areas to constrict and experience less blood flow. It leads to stiffness, discomfort, and pain—especially in the arms, legs, shoulders, and knees.
The cold changes the barometric pressure in the air as well. Barometric pressure (also called air pressure or atmospheric pressure) is the force or weight of the air surrounding us. Generally, a rise in barometric pressure is deemed an improvement in the weather, while a fall in barometric pressure usually means that the weather is deteriorating. When barometric pressure decreases, it means that there is less pressure against the body, and thus, allowing the soft tissues and joints to expand and swell in an attempt to get more oxygen. Even just a slight drop in barometric pressure can lead to increased nerve fiber sensitivity, causing joint pain and discomfort—which explains why people with arthritis can “predict” the rain or cold weather.
Lastly, cold weather means reduction of physical activities. People don’t feel like going outside as much as they usually do when it’s warmer. Less time spent outside, less exercising, less movement… all of this can make us feel worse. Why so? Because when we’re actively moving, the brain releases endorphins, hormones that escalate feelings of pleasure and reduce pain. Physical activities also improve blood flow to different areas of the body. So, the lack of it may result in declining strength and flexibility.
Does winter sound awful to you? Well, you shouldn’t dread it! You can still enjoy the season, because we’ve got some practical tips for you on how to ease this cold-induced pain and discomfort.
First, keep yourself warm, obviously. Take a warm shower, dress in layers, snuggle under your thick blanket, relax on your couch in front of your fireplace with a glass of hot chocolate… sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?
Second, perhaps you could try a paraffin bath. It’s a small machine that melts paraffin wax. It works by dipping your hands and feet in, and then you let the wax harden on your skin. Afterwards, your body absorbs the heat, which may soothe achy joints.
And finally, one of the most important things to do is to move around and stay active. Do exercises that are gentle on your joints, such as swimming or yoga. Going for a jog is also a good idea, just make sure to stretch beforehand.
If you are looking for further treatment methods to ease your pain due to cold weather, Hope Clinic Care is your answer! Located in Scottsdale, AZ, you can get non-invasive and non-opioid treatment for your joint pain and any discomfort you experience here. With an over 93% success rate, Hope Clinic Care offers excellent treatment procedures that are 100% drug-free! Using verified hands-on techniques and dual modality devices, Hope Clinic Care provides solutions to relieve pain by facilitating your body to maximize its healing and repairing ability. No drugs needed, yet just as effective—if not more.
Don’t let this winter season make you feel helpless or defeated! Make an appointment now at www.hopecliniccare.com, or call (1) 480 659 5470.