How Weather Can Trigger Pain
Have you ever experienced feeling pain during cold weather? You had probably been symptom free for a period of time but the day a cold breeze starts up, you’re now feeling pain and stiffness. While it’s not an unknown fact, it’s a fragment of essential information that many people tend to overlook. If you’ve been shivering from the freezing cold weather in the last 24-hours and both your neck and back began to feel sore, its time to take note of your posture. When feeling cold, did you hunch over trying to warm yourself up from the weather? Did you notice your neck being pushed forward while you held your shoulders to the level of your ears? Next time, pay close attention to your posture when you are sitting at your desk in the cold office or walking through the cold weather as you make your way to your car in the parking lot.
How can you avoid taking on this posture in the cold weather? Covering up the areas in the body where the most heat loss occurs, such as the head or neck, can help.
Take a moment to understand your posture when the weather is cold and you are strolling through a parking lot in order to get to your car while trying to stay warm. When being exposed to the cold weather, the body reacts by changing its posture because your body is trying to make itself smaller to keep less areas of uncovered skin exposed to the elements. Taking that into consideration, over a period of three months of cold weather and one can begin to understand why winter weather changes can lead to symptoms of pain. It’s important to be aware of the posture you take and attempt to change these habits. The best and simplest solution to this problem is to simply bundle up for the winter.
Not only that but when the muscles are cold they tend to contract. In cold weather, once you’ve reached a warmer area, it’s essential to stretch out. Stretching cold muscles isn’t the best option since muscles are easier to injure while they are cold.
Also, when it comes to weather changes, it’s believed that the changes in the barometric pressure can often trigger your symptoms. Barometric pressure is referred to as the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us. Before bad weathers occurs, the barometric pressure drops and as a result, lower air pressure pushes less against the body, allowing the tissues to expand. In 2007, researchers at Tufts University in Boston reported that every 10 degree drop in temperature caused an increase in arthritis pain. Increasing barometric pressure was also a pain trigger, according to Tufts study. In fact, research has shown that barometric pressure affects the pressure inside the joints.
On a personal note, the human body was designed as a perfect structure and it’s ability to perceive weather changes is nature’s way of indicating us of an impending danger or change.
In conclusion, in order to prevent pain with weather changes, maintaining a proper posture, wearing warmer clothes and stretching can help keep those symptoms away during the winter months, while the effects of the changes in barometric pressure, although inevitable, can be reduced by following these precautions.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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