Not all types of pain are created equal. Some of us have to deal with chronic pain on a daily basis, which can be an immense burden to bear. Unfortunately, this burden often gets worse in colder weather. So why exactly does that happen? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind why cold weather can make chronic pain worse and look at some ways to alleviate that pain. Read on to learn more about the connection between cold weather and chronic pain.
5 Reasons Why Cold Weather Can Make Chronic Pain Worse
- Temperature Changes – The obvious answer is that cold weather makes our bodies stiff and tight, leading to more pain. This happens because cold temperatures cause our blood vessels to constrict. When our blood vessels are narrowed, less blood flows to the affected area, resulting in increased pain and stiffness.
- Low Humidity – Low humidity is another factor that can contribute to increased pain in colder weather. When the air is dry, the protective layer of moisture in our joints is reduced, making them more vulnerable to friction. This can cause increased inflammation and stiffness.
- Stress – Cold weather can also have an effect on our mental state, leading to higher levels of stress and anxiety. High levels of stress can lead to increased muscle tension and pain, as well as an imbalance in hormones such as cortisol, which can further impact our bodies in negative ways.
- Lack of Vitamin D – Vitamin D is essential for proper bone health, and we can’t get enough of it in the winter months because of the limited sunlight. This can lead to weakened bones and increased pain.
- Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces fewer hormones than normal. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including joint pain that is often worse in colder weather.
How to Relieve Pain in Cold Weather?
Now that we know the science behind why cold weather can make chronic pain worse, let’s look at some ways to alleviate that pain:
- Bundle Up: Wearing layers not only keeps you warm but also helps reduce pain caused by temperature changes.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise helps keep your muscles loose and flexible, which can reduce pain.
- Use Heat Therapy: Applying heat to the affected area can increase blood flow and loosen up stiff muscles.
- Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is essential for healing, so make sure you’re getting enough rest.
- Avoid Stress: Taking moments to relax and unwind can help reduce stress levels.
- Increase Vitamin D Intake: Taking supplements or making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D through food or sunlight can help with pain caused by a lack of vitamin D.
- See a Doctor: If your chronic pain persists and is not relieved by self-care methods, it’s important to consult your doctor. You may also check out what to expect from your pain management specialist so you’ll know what to expect from your appointment.
Cold weather can make chronic pain worse in many ways, from temperature changes to low humidity levels. However, with the help of self-care methods and pain management centers of Indiana, you can find ways to alleviate that pain. Remember, your health is important, and it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor if your pain persists.