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Can Winter Affect Your Shoulder?

Can Winter Affect Your Shoulder?

Have you ever noticed how during winter, your body, especially your shoulder, experiences a sudden onslaught of pain when exposed to the cold outside? Well, research has shown that it is indeed the cold weather that causes a lot of discomfort in your otherwise healthy body. But why is it particularly more felt in the necks and shoulders?

The answer lies in our habits. Throughout the year, we indulge in a multitude of activities that put a lot of stress on the neck and shoulders – lifting heavy weights, mental stress, improper sitting position, etc.

However, during winters, when we go about the same activity, we instinctively hunch over to keep our bodies warm. This muscle constriction makes the pain be felt more severely than during the non-winter days.

Another research points to the relationship between arthritis and winter. According to a study conducted by Tufts University as the temperature dips, arthritis patients tend to experience more pain.

What Causes The Muscles To Pain More During Winters?

In winters, our muscles tend to lose heat rapidly and contract, causing the body to get tightened and lose flexibility. The tendons around the joints get tighter, which reduces movement, and in turn, the nerves are affected. Psychologically, cold weather makes us want to be bundled up and avoid any movement, causing muscle stiffness.

As mentioned before, the colder temperature causes the body muscles to work harder for the simple tasks that were easily completed in the milder season. This increased strain causes an increase in the soreness of the muscle tissue. You can avoid the excess muscle train due by doing warm-up exercises before undertaking any strenuous or heavy activity.

Also, during winters or in cold regions, the atmospheric weight is not acting against our body force, making the body tissue expand. This causes additional pressure to be felt on joints.

Exercising To Reduce Shoulder Pain

To counter the effects of shoulder pain due to cold, it is advised that regular exercise is incorporated in the daily routine. This increases blood flow and reduces muscle stiffness.

Stretching exercises are also a good way to alleviate the stress from the muscles, as they help relieve the stiffness in muscles due to inactivity.

Here is a simple stretching exercise known as sleeper stretch, which you can try at your home:

  • Lay on the side of the shoulder in which you are experiencing pain.
  • Place the hand in front of you, with the elbow bent at 90 degrees.
  • Using your free arm, push your hand down slowly, parallel to your body. This movement should trigger rotation in your shoulder.
  • Hold this position for around 30 seconds.

Such stretching exercises should be followed up with lighter exercises to cool-down the muscles. However, along with stretching the tight muscles like the shoulder, other areas like back, arms, and calves are also stretched. This will help you regulate the blood flow in the body and make your body fit to enjoy the lovely winter!

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