L.A. Pain Doctor

Why Does Pain Worsen in Colder Temperatures?

pain worsen colder temperaturesSummer is still shining, with about a month left until the weather begins to slowly cool down until winter strikes. For some, cold weather is just a fact of life – certain climates are more prone to colder weather than others. For Los Angeles, hot weather is something we take for granted. No matter where you are located, back pain is something that many people suffer from and the interesting phenomenon is that – for some reason – pain seems to worsen in colder temperatures.

What’s the Reason?

Unfortunately, researchers have not been able to find any direct evidence that weather is linked with lower back pain or other pains. However, certain theories have been proposed that may bear some weight.

Air pressure may point to a plausible reason as to why many feel worsened pain. Researchers are quick to point out that it’s not the cold weather that is responsible, but the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us – otherwise known as barometric pressure.

In simple terms, when the barometric pressure decreases, then the tissues in our body expand as a response mechanism. This expansion of our tissues puts extra pressure on joints making our pain in certain areas feel worse.

Here’s the connection to weather: the barometric pressure usually drops before colder weather kicks in. This is why there is a very small connection to weather and increased pain but nothing is conclusive because many researchers still disagree that weather plays a role in heightened pain.

To help put this idea into perspective: imagine you’re in a plane flight. The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure. This is why planes “pressurize” the cabins – to help level the pressure out because otherwise people would be temporarily swelling up during a flight and nobody has time or patience for that.

The other theory is that the enhanced pain could be a result of tense muscles. One thing we can confirm is that colder climates result in tightened muscles. When our muscles tense up, there is a possibility that a nerve may become trapped, resulting in pain.

What Can You Do?

why does pain worsen in colder temperaturesOur bodies are very complex, making it very difficult to come up with conclusive evidence that leans towards one side or another. If you begin to notice a pattern in your own body between cold weather and extra pain, then the only thing we can recommend is for you to find a way to warm up and see if that helps.

Others find exercise and a body that is well maintained provides relief from various pains. Be careful though because it is easier to overstretch or tear muscles in colder climates as our muscles are tenser. Always do warm up exercises such as stretching before attempting any rigorous exercise regimen.

Have You Tried Visiting A Pain Doctor?

Don’t let your quality of life slip because of untreated pain that you believe will resolve on its own when there may be something more serious involved. If you’re suffering from back pain, joint pain, or any pains that do not respond to treatments performed at home, then you may want to consider visiting a pain management specialist with access to specific tools and technology that can help diagnose, pinpoint, and treat the cause.

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