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Does cold weather lead to muscle stiffness? UAE doctors explain

Healthcare specialists advise wearing extra layers of warm and light clothing



By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat 12 Feb 2022, 4:42 PM

During winter, muscles tend to lose more heat and contract, causing tightness throughout the body. But doctors say the soreness is common in people of all ages.

“It’s normal to experience some degree of pain in the joints and muscles during colder months,” said Dr Mohammad Kamel Elsayed Ibrahim, orthopaedic surgery specialist, Thumbay University Hospital.

“However, lack of physical activity, as well as suffering from pre-existing musculoskeletal conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, makes (certain) individuals more susceptible to the effects of cold weather,” he added.

Dr Suresh Molathoti, orthopaedic surgery specialist, RAK Hospital, explained why cold weather led to stiffness in one's joints.

"According to one theory, low air pressure during winter months can cause muscles and soft tissue around the joints to expand and causes stiffness of muscles and restriction of joint movements," he said.

Dr Ibrahim added that in winter, there is an increased rate of viral infections, such as cold and flu. Such viruses cause the immune system to respond to (and attack) the infection.

“This response causes stress and inflammation in the body that can lead to joint and muscular pain," he said.

Healthcare specialists advise wearing extra layers of warm, light clothing, along with exercise.

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“Exercises can be done like push-ups, dips, squats, lunges and bicycle crunches increases blood flow followed by stretching of the tight muscle groups in the body like hamstrings, quadriceps, chest and shoulder muscles,” said Dr Molathoti.

In case the pain persists or gets worse, do not hesitate to seek medical intervention.


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