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Why does cold hurt so much?
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Why does cold hurt so much?

I live in southwest lower Michigan, and it's been very cold and lots of storm systems going through.  It's 14 degrees right now.  It rained and froze yesterday.  Last week our High temps were in the single digits. I know it's common for this to make us hurt much worse, but I'm having an all out FLARE UP!! Does anyone know WHY it's so painful to go through this cold weather?  I have arthritis and degenerative disc disease too, on top of the fibro/CFS.  So I'm a mess right now. My face even hurts.  (I know, it's killin' you guys). Ha Ha.  Anyway, just wanted to know the "science" behind why this happens.  I'm taking pain meds full force right now and it's not doing much for me.  Help me understand.  Thanks.  You guys are so awesome.  I smile alot when I read some of these posts.  People are so caring for each other.  So nice... Stay well everyone, and hope to hear some wisdom.  : )
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Avatar_f_tn
http://www.weather.com/activities/health/achesandpains/achesandpains101/barometers.html

This may help explain it a bit better than I could do myself.  Hope this helps you and that you feel better real soon.

Have a beautiful evening.
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441382_tn?1329196690
The article that VaBreeze posted gave a great explanation as to why barometric pressure affects us as chronic pain patients the way it does.  When it comes to the cold weather, though, I have always theorized that we are affected more negatively by cold weather than hot, whatever the barometric pressure is, because when it is cold, we instinctively tense up.  It's a natural reaction to the cold.  This tenseness causes us to hurt more than we normally do because all of our muscles are tight, and even when we get to a place where it's warm, the damage is done, our muscles have already been tightened up.  Now we're got to warm up and relax our muscles, which takes a while, and many times before our muscles get back to normal, we have to go back out in the cold again, causing us to tense up again, starting the whole chain of events over again.  It's the constant tensing of our muscles that makes us hurt more in the cold than we do in the warmth.

Ghilly
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620060_tn?1235519391
Hi Ghilly. Thank you for the answer to my question.  That is sooooo smart!! I never thought of that.  Have you ever felt the cold like we have here?  I do exactly what you said.  I shiver like crazy and tense up terribly because I hate the cold so bad.  When I was heavy ( I had gastric bypass 6 years ago and lost 120 lbs) I could go outside without a coat and I would get hot if I did wear a coat. Now I'm cold all the time, especially when the wind is whipping.  It's raining and 50 degrees today. Then tomorrow it's suppose to go down to the 20's again.  Weather in MI.  I'm sure that doesn't help my condition at all. I'm going to add you as a friend if that's okay with you.  Have a great weekend, and thanks again . . .
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620060_tn?1235519391
Hi again, Thanks for the article.  It was so interesting. I never really understood what barometric pressure was, but now I get it.  Also, I never knew humidity was a factor in the pain. I learned alot. Thanks!!  You're awesome.

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541953_tn?1262589826
I lived in Indiana for 48 years and know exactly what you are saying, does the humitity have anything to do with it? I moved to Tn, 6 hours from Indiana and my pain is nothing compared to what it was up there. of course we have had any negative weather. but I seem to feel so much better down here.
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1015816_tn?1295502929
Hi cookiesyum...I hope that means you make some awesome cookies!  
Anyway, your question immediately struck me because I feel the same.  I am originally from the state of Wisconsin so of course, it's very similar to you.  I also have Fibromyalgia and about 7 other related disorders.  I completely agree with you that the cold weather, damp weather & high humidity are killers for us.  I have been told it has a lot to do with the barometric pressure changes.  If you live in an area where it changes frequently such as the midwest - unfortunately for you, it changes frequently.  Sounds so strange to say but after a very pleasant divorce from my husband of 21 years (we are best of friends), I met the love of my life and he is building a home in Miami - his dream home...well, I still live with my ex in the other wing of the house and the weather here used to be great for my conditions - hot in the early spring with little rain and low humidity.  That has changed since we moved here in 2005.  We now get rain starting in November and it just continues until well, we are still getting it and it's almost Memorial Day.  It goes from 85 and hot and wonderful to the next day 65 and rainy and you just feel damp.  
The new man in my life said that he will move where ever my pain will be best and he can use the home he is building as an investment...nope, I cannot do that so I did some studies and they are potentially ok.  Of course, Florida is known for humidity but I think I could tolerate it as long as there are not such huge fluctuations in the barometric pressure.  My suggestion to you - my new friend - is to check daily how far apart those changes are in your area and I bet you can feel a front coming your way at least 24 hours before it even hits.  You start to get a headache, bad one.  You are feeling achy all over like a very bad flu.  You want to sleep but cannot get to that very important stage 4 sleep.  All of us with Fibro have issues with sleep.  My point being, we either move to a place that is better for us (Arizona or New Mexico) or we have to learn how to live with it.

I feel for you because I know what you are feeling.  I can't remember a recent day in Oregon when I said, wow, what a great day!   Remember that you have someone you can talk to that knows exactly what you are feeling like - I have had this for so long that I know a lot about it.  In fact, my doctors and specialists love it when I bring in new trials that are going on - new potential drugs that could help Fibro patients, etc.  In fact it goes to anyone that wants to know more...prescriptions that are best, exercise and doing too much (even an hour of shopping puts me down for a full day in bed).  These are things we learn as we experience them.  I am here and will help in whatever way I can.  A sounding board, a way to get out your frustrations to what may help you.
Take care cookiesyum..feel free to contact me here on the forum or on my email at ***@**** and I'd be happy to help in any way possible.  We are all in this together!  

Sincerely,
Dawnmarie
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello cookiesyum;

I thought I would share my experience with you. I live on Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest. Apart from July and august our temperatures are rather cool and we basically lose the sun in November for four months. Winter temperatures are around  38-44 and it rains for weeks sometimes.
After working in an extreme negative energy field (criminal justice) for many years, my body revolted with Fibromyalgia, IBS, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Migraines. I had always been extremely empathic for my whole life and it caught up with me. In the winter I become completely disabled barely able to keep myself nourished sometimes. In 2010 I had what some might call a spiritual experience, where after almost a month of being in a meditative state I released a half century of baggage and opened my heart. Recognizing the pain as a gift and message I set out to explore the power of heart energy. I placed myself in several contexts where I was surround with like minded, very loving and open hearted people, And I found that this impacted  on pain levels. Consequently I began to look at the latest theories in the study of consciousness and moe specifically quantum consciousness. These theories suggest that we are connected energetically in ways that we do not fully understand. I have a theory that In areas where cold damp weather is common, so too is there a negative impact on this quantum field that connects us. As the moods of others drop with the crapy weather, our bodies pick up on this and we experience this  as increases in pain. So I am working on a theory that Fibromyalgia is caused by our energy bodies being out of whack and turned into a hypersensitive state. Pharmaceuticals will never be the answer to this. Rather, in order to reset our energy bodies we need to change the energy that we surround ourselves with AND ensure that the energy that we emanate is always of a loving nature from the heart. Last winter I took this theory to the desert in California. I surrounded myself with people who were very open and loving in a number of energy healing groups and I discovered within about a month that the pain virtually disappeared. The IBS symptoms were nominal and no migraines. I had to return to the north a couple of times during the winter and much to my dismay the pain would start creeping in again. So I know I have not solved the puzzle yet but I really do believe I am on to something. Hopefully if others catch on there could actually be some research into the idea that quantum consciousness plays a role in chronic pain disorders. By the way, through the meditative practices and shifts in my own energy I have been able to get of the pharmaceutical drug line and only resort to a pill under the worst of migraine headaches.  Just some food for though and all with love!!
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