Cold Weather, Pain and Massage Therapy

winter-cold-massage-therapyHey, baby, it’s cold outside! Cold Weather, Pain, and Massage Therapy go hand in hand. Whether you are in Alaska or Florida-cold weather “demands” a massage from Amelia Massage Associates. Yep, it’s winter, when we all feel those aches and pains that seemed less obvious or restrictive during the fall and summer seasons. But there is an unsuspected non-prescription remedy to address your weather-related “why am I feeling so stiff and non-flexible?” and “why does everything ache?” questions. 

Pain is the reason behind about 80% of physician visits in America. Not only does pain, especially persistent and chronic pain, take a physical toll, it also interferes with our social, mental, emotional and spiritual sides, according to Dr. Mercola, associated with Peak Fitness. A person struggling with pain often finds it difficult to carry out the simplest activities or engage in their usual social activities. 

Now add cold temperatures to this scenario. The effects of cold weather on pain used to fall in the realm of old wives’ tales. Not anymore. A number of studies have suggested the link between cold weather and increased pain. Harriet Cooper’s article ‘Dealing With Winter Aches and Pains’ noted that one study found that for every 5.56° Celsius (10° Fahrenheit) drop in temperature, there was a corresponding incremental increase in arthritis pain.  Researchers and physicians point to cold weather’s shrinking effect on tissues, which pulls on nerves and causes pain. And a typical more sedentary winter lifestyle allows our joints to “gel,” resulting in discomfort and stiffness. 

Winter Fun

Snowball battles are fun, but for many hibernation and watching from the sideline becomes their physical reality. This doesn’t have to be the case. A readily available remedial answer to these queries is massage therapy. Massage therapy comes with an excellent safety record, and while it may seem easier to take a pill to alleviate chronic pain, the non-invasiveness and overall effectiveness of massage for chronic pain makes it a great treatment plan with minimal, if any, side effects.

Massage can help alleviate weather-related pain, in both cold or warm, humid temperatures. Painful conditions, such as migraine headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy, to name a few, are often worsened in cold weather. 

Arthritis, a very common health condition that we work with daily, has been studied at length and can be helped by regularly scheduled massages. And there are some other things that you can do to minimize your pain between maintenance massages.

  • Wear layers and pre-warm clothes in the dryer.
  • Keep home temperatures comfortably warm.
  • Warm up the car.
  • Use heating pads to relax muscles and soothe pain.
  • Exercise and stretch to loosen joints before going outside.

Hey, baby, it’s cold outside! But cold weather, pain, and massage therapy work well together-like warm, well-fitting gloves. 

Nancy Shores, LMT, Facial Specialist at Amelia Massage Associates