Why the old scars cannot stand the cold

You may have the same feeling:

“My joints get sore when the autumn comes.”
“I hate the winter because it makes my body feel bad.”
“My old injury is active whenever the winter comes.”

Do you ever wonder why your old scars/ joints are so vulnerable to the cold weather? Here is why.

What does cold weather do to your body?

  1. Decrease in joint range of motion:
    Low temperature makes joints in our whole body stiff.
  2. Decreasing the mobility of hyaluronan:
    The viscosity of hyaluronan, which is used to lubricate your joints, is increased due to low temperature. This can decrease the gliding of connective tissue and muscle.
  3. Increase muscles and tendon stiffness:
    A previous research concluded that a 20-minute cryotherapy induces an increase in calf muscle stiffness. The effect continued for 40 minutes after the end of cryotherapy.
Photo by Alex Padurariu on Unsplash

What can happen when you have an injury?

  1. Scar tissue proliferation:
    At the first few days of injury, the wound site forms a thick scar to protect the vulnerable tissues from daily shear force. However, the scars can be hyperplastic when the wound is too severe. This can affect the healing process and limit tissue gliding.
  2. Chronic wound with inflammation:
    Inflammation is normal at the first few days of injury, it can help tissue remodeling. However, when the inflammation turns into chronic, it can reduce healing speed and muscle growth.
  3. Immobilization stiffness:
    Some may think that resting is the best medicine. However, when you rest for too long, the muscles will become weak and stiff.
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Now, you can imagine how uncomfortable it is when you have an old injury under cold whether!

This is what you should do when you have this kind of problem.

  1. Warm up thoroughly before exercise/ sports:
    Active warm-up exercises are beneficial to heating and gliding of the soft tissues, lowering the risk of injury.
  2. Maintain your joint flexibility:
    Stretching is recommended everyday to keep your joints in a healthy state.
  3. Massage your scars:
    Scars should be treated with deep friction massage to prevent adhesion.
  4. Maintain an active lifestyle:
    Exercise makes your muscles strong and flexible. Rest and immobility should only be done in the first 2 weeks of injury.

You should know by now how to take care of your body. Move wisely, and you can enjoy things more than you now.

References:
Järvinen TA, Järvinen TL, Kääriäinen M, Kalimo H, Järvinen M. Muscle injuries: biology and treatment. Am J Sports Med. 2005;33(5):745–64.

Bleakley CM, Costello JT. Do thermal agents affect range of movement and mechanical properties in soft tissues? A systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94(1):149–63.

Cowman MK, Schmidt TA, Raghavan P, Stecco A. Viscoelastic Properties of Hyaluronan in Physiological Conditions. F1000Res. 2015,25;4:622.

Point M, Guilhem G, Hug F, Nordez A, Frey A, Lacourpaille L. Cryotherapy induces an increase in muscle stiffness. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018;28(1):260–6.

Z Martina, Maganaris CN, Wilke J, Jurkat-Rott K, Klingler W, Wearing SC, et al. Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: from molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics: consensus statement. Br J Sports Med. 2018;52(23):1497.

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物理治療師 女性運動與姿勢矯正 physiotherapist, MS, CES 醫骼運動物理治療所 治療師 https://www.eager-physioclinic.com/

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杜婉瑜 Diane

杜婉瑜 Diane

物理治療師 女性運動與姿勢矯正 physiotherapist, MS, CES 醫骼運動物理治療所 治療師 https://www.eager-physioclinic.com/

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