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  • Writer's pictureFrancesco Holistic

Sick of Cold Weather Pain? Massage Therapy Can Help

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Another Edmonton winter is upon us. This 2020 season is predicted to be especially cold and wet. For many, that means increased muscle aches, neck pains, and joint stiffness is also on their way.

Thankfully, massage therapy is an effective way to combat those cold weather aches and pains. Not only does massage therapy work to increase circulation and flexibility in the winter months, but it can also help relieve some of the tension and seasonal sadness we feel as the days get shorter and darker.

Girl in toque holding her hands

Massage therapy has become an incredible tool for thousands of Albertans who work outside during the winter months. Ever notice how your shoulders hunch and your muscles tense up when you feel cold?

If you have spent any time working outside in the middle of February in winter, you know this feeling all too well. Targeted massage therapy can work to reduce the tightness in your muscles, relax the affected muscle groups, improve blood flow to soft tissues and provide relaxation after a cold day on the job site.

If you are dreading another cold Edmonton winter where you constantly ache and feel tense, massage therapy can help.

It assists in the relief of pain and gives you back the mobility in your joints you had in the warmer months. Beat the winter blues this year and book a massage appointment online today.

What Conditions Cause Cold Weather Pain?

Often when patients feel pain due to cold weather, they are actually suffering from more serious conditions that can cause chronic muscle pain. We’ve all heard the anecdote of the person that says they can feel in their bones when the weather is changing. But for some, that is actually a reality!

People that suffer from Cold Allodynia an increased sensitivity to normally non-painful cool temperatures can often predict an approaching cold weather shift based on the level of pain they feel in their body.

Man walking with backpack on in snow

Different weather patterns can cause an increase in pain including increased precipitation, a sudden drop in temperature, barometric pressure, and even more ionization in the air.

Individuals suffering from...

  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

  • Arthritis

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

  • Non-Specific Lower Back Pain

  • Gout

  • Scar Pain

Might all feel increased levels of pain during the coldest months of the year.

Cold Weather and Chronic Pain Symptoms

There has been some research regarding the relationship between cold and damp weather and arthritic flare-ups. People that suffer from chronic knee pain due to arthritis can also feel their symptoms intensify. Cold temperatures are also known to cause painful changes in joint fluid thickness.

Woman holding back

Have you ever experienced nerve pain when the temperature drops quickly? That is because your nerve endings become more sensitive the colder it is. Meanwhile, your muscles tense up around the nerves.

After a long day of working outside or in a cold office, your body might feel completely exhausted and achy. This is often a result of us clenching due to your discomfort all day.

How Can Massage Therapy Help Me During the Winter?

There is a lot of science behind the benefits of massage therapy, including different techniques and body manipulations that can aid the muscles and joints.

However, a simple way of looking at massage therapy is how it releases endorphins in your body that acts as a natural medication for chronic pain.

Man sitting at doctor's with hand on his bare back

Endorphins then interact with the receptors in your body that help shape your perception of pain. Endorphins also help reduce the stress we can feel in our day-to-day lives. Two massage techniques I recommend in the winter are:

Hot Stone Massagea hot stone massage is an excellent massage technique that promotes high levels of relaxation in the mind and body. During a hot stone massage, a massage therapist will place warm, smooth basalt stones across your body. Throughout the massage, patients feel balanced as tension slips away.

Deep Tissue Massage – a deep tissue massage that works to loosen the muscles in the body that have been clenched and tightened as a result of cold weather. Throughout the massage, I work on specific muscle groups and tissues to help increase blood flow and relax the area.

Hot stone massage

Holistic Massage Therapy and Acupuncture

As a lifelong Edmontonian, I feel that same sense of dread when November arrives and the temperature drops. But as a Registered Massage Therapist, I know just how beneficial massage can be when it comes to nursing those cold weather aches, pains and blues.

Massage therapy has been proven to decrease cortisol levels that cause stress in the body and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, both of which allow us to relax and feel happier. After a long day outside, nothing beats spending an hour of self-care time on the massage table.

Massage table

If you have questions about massage therapy or are tired of experiencing chronic pain in the winter, contact me. Together, we go through your specific symptoms and develop a plan of treatment that works best for your body and needs.

I offer direct billing to most major healthcare insurance companies including Alberta Blue Cross, Great West Life, Sun Life, Johnson Insurance and more.

Make a Change This Winter

So often we accept the aches and pains in our bodies as natural signs of aging. But the pain that is seasonal and returns in the winter months can be treated. Living with pain on a daily basis is not the only option.

Man holding skis in forest

Maybe you are the kind of person that enjoys winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, but in recent years the painful next-day effects have deterred you. Maybe you work outside and are tired of suffering every day.

Whatever the reason is, massage therapy is a beneficial tool to help you live a happy and pain-free life. See my full list of services here or schedule a massage appointment here. Make this the year you live pain-free!

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