After almost a month with thermometers above 25ºC, much of the state of São Paulo should receive a cold front starting this Friday (29). In addition to the flu and colds common to this season of the year, the colder weather can cause other impacts on the health of the population.
Who has never heard (or talked about) the appearance of body aches after a sudden drop in temperature? What seems more like a myth of the popular imagination, a statement of common sense, is reality, and one of the most common.
According to specialist Bruno Miranda, from the Brazilian Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology (SBOT), the pain is the result of the tendency we have to tense the body more and move less on colder days.
The situation can exacerbate the pain of those who already suffer from chronic problems, such as arthritis. “Science agrees that there is a scientific basis for pain related to temperature change,” he explains.
“Excessive contraction of muscles generates discomfort due to muscle tension, especially in patients with chronic pain.”
Medicine explains that with a drop in temperature, blood vessels and muscles in the body are more contracted than normal.
“The objective is to take blood to noble areas, such as the heart and lungs, and prevent blood from circulating too much in superficial areas, which leads to even more heat loss to the environment”, says the specialist.
This mechanism can result in a lack of blood in the extremities, such as hands and feet, and joints, such as the knees, making the fluid in these joints more viscous, decreasing lubrication and, consequently, worsening pain.
“The drop in temperature also changes the air pressure and this can make the nerve endings of the cartilage more sensitive, generating more pain and discomfort”, he continues.
To mitigate these effects, the specialist advises that the practice of physical exercises during the cold days and winter months be maintained by patients.
“In addition to raising your body temperature and getting blood to circulate through your extremities and joints, exercise will prevent you from losing muscle mass and overloading joints that already suffer from chronic pain.”
Always keep warm with appropriate clothes that favor the exchange of heat with the environment and increase the consumption of soups and teas are also practices that can be adopted.