Why Does Cold Weather Cause Increased Pain?

Young woman shivering during the winter seasonI recently had a patient ask me…why I feel increased pain during cold weather? Sometimes I wonder if it is that the cold weather coincides with stress from the holidays. However, the scientific answer is that cold causes our bodies to constrict. Nerve ending are more sensitive during cold weather and your muscles contract to heat up your internal temperature. Your tight muscles increase the pressure applied to the nerves and hence you feel increased pain. Cold also creates lower atmospheric pressure and as a result the soft tissue of our body expand and put pressure on our bones and joints. People who have preexisting conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia often suffer the greatest during cold weather.

Chinese medicine recognizes a patient’s underlying condition not their diagnosis. Therefore one person with arthritis may present with inflammation and pain that does not want to be touched, while another patient may have dull/achy pain that feels better with pressure and heat. A Licensed Acupuncturist is highly trained at diagnosing a patient so that not only their chief complaint is resolved but also the channels or organ systems are balanced so that they no longer experience frequent reoccurrences of their symptoms.

What is most important to achieve balance within the body is consistently on the patient’s part. Treatments are necessary 2-3 times a week in the beginning and can be tapered down based on the patient’s response to the acupuncture.

If the cold weather or stress from the holidays has your body feeling increased pain, please call and schedule a treatment with one of our highly trained Acupuncturists.

Posted in: Acupuncture, Fitness, Health & Wellness

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