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Can Cold Weather Cause Muscle Spasms?

on : October 25, 2019 comments : (Comments Off on Can Cold Weather Cause Muscle Spasms?)

With winter now upon us, drops in temperature can make movement and travel difficult.  While this may just be the result of not wanting to leave your warm and cozy house, for some people, they claim its because the colder weather causes them pain.  But is this the case? And what should you do if you find it happening to you? Dr. Sophia Argeropoulos has the answers you’re looking for.

What Is A Muscle Spasm

Muscle spasms are sometimes also referred to as muscle cramps.  They occur when a muscle forcibly contracts and is unable to relax.  Muscle spasms are a common occurrence and may involve a single muscle, or an entire muscle group.  Typically, muscle spasms will occur in the following areas:

  • Abdomens
  • Arms
  • Calves
  • Foot Arches
  • Thighs

How The Cold Affects You Muscles

As the weather gets colder, this causes the muscles in your body to lose heat, leading them to contract.  As a result, your muscles and joints get tighter and decrease your range of motion. To compensate for this, your muscles are forced to work harder than they normally would in milder weather.  This can increase the fatigue of your muscles, leading to longer periods of pain and discomfort after a workout or any type of movement than you would normally feel in warmer temperatures.

Cold Weather And Muscles Spasms

For the reasons mentioned above, colder weather can lead to increased amounts of muscle spasms.  One of the most common causes of muscle spasms are overuse and fatigue of the muscles. Since more work is being done by muscles when it is cold, this makes winter the perfect culprit to cause these to happen.  A spasm can last a few mere seconds or be up to 15 minutes long. During a muscle spasm, you may experience:

  • Mild twitching of or pain in the muscle.
  • Muscles feeling harder than normal to the touch.
  • Muscles appearing physically distorted.

How To Combat The Cold

While we may not like to hear this, the world doesn’t stop once the temperature falls.  Activities still need to be done, and movements still need to be made. One of the best ways to combat the negative affects the cold can have on your muscles is to do a proper warm-up before any physical activity.  By taking a few minutes to get your heart rate up, you can increase the blood flow to and flexibility of your muscles. This will ensure your muscles are functioning properly and avoid the need for them to work harder than they have to, which can stop spasms and other injuries.

With the holidays and a new year upon us, it may seem like you have no time to rest.  When you’re constantly experiencing pain, this can be a very daunting reality to face. However, you do not have to do this alone.  Dr. Sophia Argeropoulos is here to answer any of the questions you may have about how the cold affects your body and can offer you treatment should an injury be persistent.  Contact her today so you can go back to being pain-free!



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Dr. Jack Zangara