Why Does My Shoulder Hurt During Cold Weather?

Common Injuries

Dec 22, 2018


Experiencing shoulder pain can make simple tasks difficult. Showering, getting dressed, driving, and carrying groceries seems impossible. Even sleeping, which is supposed to bring you rest and respite from busy days, can cause frustration as you switch positions, looking for ways to feel comfortable despite your pain.

The misery can be heightened during winter or when you look at the weather report and see a cold front approaching. This is because for some people, cold weather exacerbates shoulder pain. Why does it happen and what can you do to prevent it?

5 Common Reasons For Shoulder Pain in Cold Weather

While there are plenty of people who don’t experience any physical discomfort during cold weather, it’s important to note that those who do notice pain during winter are not imagining things. There are several reasons why lower temperatures may cause a person to have achy shoulders.

1. Increased Sensitivity From Cold Weather

If you suffer from an underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, your joints are going to feel more sensitive to cold weather. In addition to pain, you may feel stiffness and swelling. Humidity may also cause pain flare-ups.

2. Increased Stress From Cold Weather

While the stress of getting end-of-the-year tasks completed at work may make you feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day, we’re talking about physical strain and tension to your shoulder muscles as you hunch over in attempts to keep warm.

3. Changes In Barometric Pressure From Cold Weather

Cold weather brings about changes in barometric pressure, which may cause soft tissue such as muscles and ligaments to expand. This is because lower air pressure puts less pressure on your body. As a result, a person may feel pain in their joints.

4. Inactivity During Cold Weather

It’s no secret that when the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful, you may be tempted to stay bundled up on your couch instead of going out for a run. This may be fine for a day or two, but extended periods of inactivity can result in body aches. Since the shoulders tend to carry a larger amount of pressure than other body parts, that’s where you’re most likely to feel the pain.

5. Older Age And Cold Weather

Getting older is something that’s worth celebrating. It means you have extra time to spend with loved ones and create memories. However, it also means more stiffness, which cold weather can aggravate. Doing low-impact exercises, such as tai chi or yoga, as well as regular stretching of your shoulders can help you avoid (or at least decrease) the pain.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services In Colorado Springs And Texas

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, we can provide you with the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.