Shoulder Pain in Cold Weather

If you’ve been around long enough, you know there are plenty of myths regarding medical science and the human anatomy, such as eating certain foods will influence whether a pregnant woman will have a boy or a girl, or that eating turkey makes you sleepy.

But there are other things that, while may sound far-fetched to those who haven’t experienced it, are very real. Such is the case with feeling joint pain during cold weather, especially when the person suffers from arthritis.

What Causes Shoulder Pain in Cold Weather?

Several factors may influence one’s level of pain during cold weather:

1. Barometric Pressure

Changes in barometric pressure can cause body tissue to expand. When this happens, your joints will feel the additional stress.

2. Increased Stress

When the temperature drops, it’s typical for people to hunch over and lift their shoulders in an attempt to keep warm. If you already have shoulder issues, this muscle constriction will make you feel pain more sharply.

3. Increased Sensitivity

If a person suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, they are going to be more sensitive to weather changes. Although there’s no conclusive evidence explaining this phenomenon, the reality is that weather changes often result in RA patients experiencing pain flare-ups.

4. Decreased Exercise

When it’s cold outside, it’s tempting to just stay home bundled up in a duvet. If you’re used to exercising regularly, cold temperatures give you the perfect excuse to skip a few workouts. The problem with this is that inactivity results in muscle stiffness.

If cold weather persists for a long period of time and you get used to a sedentary lifestyle, you could also suffer from disuse syndrome, which often brings chronic pain. If you’re already carrying extra stress around your shoulders, that’s where you’re going to feel it the most.

How to Reduce Shoulder Pain When It’s Cold Outside

Regular exercise promotes adequate blood flow and alleviates joint pain. Free weights and resistance bands are easy ways to reduce muscle stiffness. There are also specific stretching exercises that will help to reduce tension in your shoulders.

Another effective home remedy to soothe shoulder aches is to apply heat packs.

That said, chronic pain can be a sign of injury. If after several days your pain hasn’t decreased (or if it’s getting worse), it’s crucial to seek medical attention to determine whether you’re suffering from something more serious, such as a muscle tearrotator cuff injury, or if you need shoulder replacement surgery.

Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today

At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If shoulder pain is making activities difficult for you, let us help you get back to doing the things you love.

Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.