Winter time in Melbourne – brrr! That cold weather really brings out those aches and pains. We’ve tried beating the Winter blues, but sometimes the aches and pains just keep on getting to us. So why does this happen? The answer is never simply black and white, but there can be some simple explanations for that niggling back pain that seems to rear its head more often in the colder mornings.
Our body is very clever. It has many mechanisms helping us to survive. When it is hot, our body will try to cool itself down by sweating. In the cold, our body will try to preserve heat around our vital organs. This usually means automatically directing blood flow away from our extremity muscles an inward towards our vital organs. The blood vessels leading to our muscles will naturally constrict so that our blood flow is minimal.
So Why does the Cold Make us Feel More Pain?
Well, our muscles need the nutrients and oxygen that is carried by blood in order to work optimally.
When we exercise or warm up, our blood vessels will naturally open up and carry the appropriate nutrients. Without blood flow – or with restricted blood flow, the bad elements in muscles, like lactic acid can build up because it isn’t as easily cleared with normal blood blow.
Pathologies such as osteoarthritis are really reactive to changes in temperature. Someone with arthritis is likely to sense a change in temperature or humidity before it happens – “I can feel it in my bones”. This is likely due to changes in blood flow to the affected areas. A very common symptom of arthritis is pain in the morning or with cold. This is generally due to lack of blood flow after being sedentary all night.
If you feel you are suffering from these symptoms, please see your Osteopath, or contact Inlign Osteopathy. There may be ways to help relieve your pain. In the meantime, rug up and stay warm.