Do you hurt more in Winter? Here’s why!

Stiff and hurting joints, aching muscles and more pain are telling signs that Winter is here. The rationale behind aching muscles is logical; the cold atmosphere causes the muscles to lose heat. The loss of this heat creates a response for the muscles to contract to retain the remaining heat.

As a result, this continual contraction causes tightness and tension in your muscles. Your muscles will ache and you will feel more fatigued.


Does the cold really make our muscles and joints sore?


Joint_Pain_WinterYes it does, to a degree as we described above. However the logic behind stiff and tender joints isn’t so clear cut. Normally when you have an injury, isn’t it your first instinct is to apply ice? In the acute stage, application of cold can slow the inflammatory process.

There might be more at play than just the cold here. A research study was done at Tuft University and found a link between the change in barometric pressure (which is the weight of the air pressing down on the Earth’s surface) and joint pain, specifically knee pain.

Changes in barometric pressure causes an inflammatory response in the joint, but also expansion of muscles, ligaments, tendons and scar tissue. Changes in circulation and nerve ending sensitivity also take place. All of these are responsible for the pain and stiffness felt. The thickening of the joint fluid has also thought to contribute to the stiffening of these joints. Considering that, seems we can’t entirely blame the cold weather anymore for our achy joints.


Who suffers most during the change to the cold season?


Arthritis sufferers are normally the most affected. Arthritis is the defined as the ‘inflammation of the joints’, and it causes changes to the articulating surfaces and cartilage. It is commonly found in joints such as; hip, knee, ankle and the spine.

Most sufferers notice ‘flare ups’ during Winter and always put it down to the change in temperature. But now science is saying it also due to the change in Barometric Pressure.


What can you do about an increase in pain in Winter?


Now that we know what causes the problem of stiff and achy joints in Winter, what can we do about it?


Chiro_Pain_Winter1. See your Chiropractor. At Natural Solutions, Nicola is here to help. With gentle mobilisation/manipulation and massage techniques she makes sure your joints stay flexible and the circulation to your soft tissue is optimal. Staying well aligned will solve most of the pain.

2. Exercise to strengthen the muscle and take the stress off the joints. Did you know that Nicola can also prescribe the perfect exercise regime for you?

3. Apply heat to aching muscles. A heat pack is your friend, use it whenever you can!

4. For your general health, but definitely also for achey joints, make sure you consume an anti-inflammatory diet. Lots of leafy greens, lean meats and nuts.


Do you need some help with your pains and aches?


Don’t put it off, you will feel so much better for it once you start a treatment regime. You can make an appointment for chiropractic care here  or you can give us a call on 0414 067 874.