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Colder Weather Musculoskeletal Injuries

Colder Weather Musculoskeletal Injuries

As the weather gets colder, individuals may feel like their muscles and joints are frequently stiff and experience more aches and pains. This is even more evident for individuals that work outside in the winter or with specific ailments/conditions. Colder weather can increase the risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries and intensify the condition.

Colder Weather Musculoskeletal Injuries

How Colder Weather Impacts The Muscles

Individuals with arthritic conditions might find that symptoms become exacerbated. This can keep individuals away from regular activities. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis tend not to react well to weather sudden atmospheric changes, worsening symptoms. However, individuals are well aware of how their body feels and moves when colder weather is present with or without existing conditions. Movement slows down, and when trying to move, the muscles can contract involuntarily, causing tension and stiffness. This usually results in soreness and pain. Feeling warm, safe, and comfortable is essential for the body’s overall health. Overuse and overexertion can increase the risk of injury in colder temperatures.

Barometric Pressure

  • When the weather gets colder, barometric pressure drops. The Body’s tissues like the muscles, tendons, and ligaments expand. This places pressure on nerves near the joints, causing discomfort and pain.
  • In cold weather, the fluid density in the joints lessens, causing the bones to rub against each other harder because the fluid is not thick enough to allow for proper lubrication.
  • The cold makes the muscles shiver, contract, and tighten. This can compress the nerves in the joints and increase pain symptoms.

Prevent Stiffness and Musculoskeletal-Related Injuries

Maintain an active lifestyle

Dress warm

  • Wear proper clothing to keep the body warm and protected.
  • Wear proper boots that are waterproof and have good treads to prevent falls.
  • Wear a warm hat to maintain head warmth, reducing the body heat that escapes from the head.

Warm-up during breaks

  • Try not to stay out in the cold for too long. If working outside, move indoors during breaks if possible.

Eat a healthy diet

  • Good nutrition helps maintain the whole body.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. Salmon and nuts are recommended.
  • Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in vitamin K, which helps soothe pain symptoms.
  • Vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, red bell peppers, and tomatoes also help stop cartilage loss reducing friction in the joints.

Proper sleep


Body Composition


Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise can include:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Walking

Resistance Training

  • Research has shown that resistance training with bands or weights can supplement aerobic exercise to reduce blood pressure.
  • It is recommended to complete 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for each major muscle group during workout sessions.
  • Resistance training sessions should be spaced out throughout the week to limit muscle soreness and injury.

Resistance training can include: 

  • Resistance bands with freehand movements, squats, push-ups, bicep curls
  • Free weights dumbbells, barbells
  • Gym weight machines like the chest press and shoulder press

Heil, Kieran et al. “Freezing and non-freezing cold-weather injuries: a systematic review.” British medical bulletin vol. 117,1 (2016): 79-93. doi:10.1093/bmb/ldw001

Kowtoniuk, Robert A et al. “Cutaneous Cold Weather Injuries in the US Military.” Cutis vol. 108,4 (2021): 181-184. doi:10.12788/cutis.0363

Long, William B 3rd et al. “Cold injuries.” Journal of long-term effects of medical implants vol. 15,1 (2005): 67-78. doi:10.1615/jlongtermeffmedimplants.v15.i1.80

Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding

Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding

High-intensity interval training or bodybuilding? Getting to the gym, choosing a strength-training method, and figuring out which method is right for you can be frustrating and confusing. With all of the options available, there�s just no easy way to figure out which training regimen is right. Here are two of the most popular training methods broken down. The principles behind each training method and how they influence body composition. The journey to getting healthy goes a lot smoother when knowing which training program will help reach optimal fitness goals.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding

Not all training programs are the same

Bodybuilding is about physical appearance. This means big muscles and low body fat which is accomplished by heavyweight training workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training/HIIT workouts focus on performing high-intensity exercises in large volume repetitions quickly to raise an individual’s heart rate, cycling between high intensity and rest. This is accomplished by using:
  • Light weights
  • Bodyweight
  • Cardio exercises
It�s important to understand that different training methods will affect body composition differently. Body composition is about painting an accurate picture of what�s going on in the body. The key is to break down:
  • What each training program looks like
  • What it does
  • How to choose the program that�s best for the individual
  • Gaining Lean Body Mass
  • Losing Fat Mass


Bodybuilding at its core is about gaining muscle while minimizing body fat. Minimizing fat is a key to building a muscular-defined physique, and requires a detailed focus on protein and calorie intake. It is the emphasis on aesthetically increasing muscle size and reducing body fat. Bodybuilders focus on higher reps and lighter-weight workouts. This encourages muscle hypertrophy. Other factors in bodybuilding are:
  • Adequate cardio
  • Consistent protein intake
  • Calorie restrictions
  • These are important aspects of this type of regimen and building visually impressive musculature.
This impressive musculature is not only for looks, as it can help with fat loss as well. This is because resistance training/weight training can burn a lot of calories and lose a substantial amount of fat. A study by the Department of Exercise Science showed that 10 weeks of resistance training can reduce fat weight by 1.8kg and increase resting metabolic rate by 7%.  

Body Composition

For the average person, if the focus is on building visible muscle while keeping a low body fat percentage, bodybuilding is a great choice. Ideal body composition focuses on keeping fat content to a minimum without compromise.  

High-Intensity Interval Training/HIIT

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding
Modern training programs like CrossFit utilize HIIT-style workouts. HIIT burns calories through workouts that significantly increase heart rate. The exercises are short, loaded with mini-breaks in between high-intensity sets designed to test cardio. The focus is on high repetitions. However, HIIT workouts are so intense that professional trainers recommend individuals only train 2-3 times a week, to avoid overstressing the body. There are bodybuilding exercises included like: However, they are done with different goals in mind. The priority of a HIIT workout is to reduce fat, improve cardio, and developing some muscle.  

Body Composition

Scientists from Ohio State University observed more than 40 subjects at all levels of cardio fitness. Over the next 10 weeks, the subjects completed a variety of HIIT workouts. The scientists realized that the individuals were developing a more capable cardio system, and their body fat percentages were dropping significantly.
  • If the goal is to get stronger and lose weight, then bodybuilding is the best option.
  • If the goal is to have stronger cardio and lose serious weight then HIIT workouts are the best option.
No matter what training program is chosen. Remember that achieving a healthy body composition that the individual feels comfortable with is the most important thing. Making positive changes and achieving optimal health is the objective. Both workout strategies can be incorporated into a regular strength training regimen. Both training methods can be challenging, but the health benefits are absolutely worth it. Contact us today to help figure out which training regimen will achieve optimal health.



Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*  
Ross, Leanna M et al. �High-intensity interval training (HIIT) for patients with chronic diseases.��Journal of sport and health science�vol. 5,2 (2016): 139-144. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.04.005 Westcott, Wayne L. �Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.��Current sports medicine reports�vol. 11,4 (2012): 209-16. doi:10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825dabb8
Physical Activity and Exercise For a Healthy Spine El Paso, TX.

Physical Activity and Exercise For a Healthy Spine El Paso, TX.

Physical Activity to Prevent Back Pain and Weight Gain


11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Physical Activity and Exercise For a Healthy Spine El Paso, TX.


Regular physical activity will improve the body’s:

  • Balance
  • Reflexes
  • Coordination

This significantly reduces potential falls and injuries. Injuries from falling can be devastating for someone with osteoporosis.

Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.



To help reverse bone loss, physical activity must fit the individual’s type and intensity. This will determine the appropriate exercises for your level of fitness as well as the risk of fracture.

As a way to begin walking is a great way to start a regular exercise therapy.

Walking improves bone strength because it distributes the body’s weight in a balanced manner over and over again. Bone responds best to the intensity of the walk and not the duration. Bones need to be consistently challenged as they respond by making more osteoblasts or the cellular material that fills the bone cavities. Adding these higher levels of resistance causes healthy stress to bones. This is what increases bone density.

Adding a variety of weight-bearing activities:

  • Dancing
  • Skating
  • Aerobics
  • Strength/weight training aka resistance training


OA-Osteoarthritis� & RA-Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are conditions that affect the flexibility of the spinal or facet joints. Flexibility, in this case, means the ability of joints to move through their normal range of motion. The amount of an individual’s range of motion is determined by how tight the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are. When muscles can stretch freely, this means the joint has better flexibility.


facetogenic neuropathic, osteoarthritis and headaches pain el paso tx.

Low Back Pain & Possible Sciatica

To prevent low back and leg pain, the back, and hip muscles need to be flexible and strong. Individuals with poor flexibility and weak muscles in the back, pelvis, and thighs have a higher risk of increasing the curve of the lower back which can make the pelvis tilt too far forward.


11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Physical Activity and Exercise For a Healthy Spine El Paso, TX.


Proper posture combined with flexible and strong muscles can help prevent nerve compression and pain.


Overall Health

Having healthy body composition means there needs to be more lean body mass i.e. muscle mass and less body fat. Strength training/CrossFit helps by raising the metabolic rate while lowering body fat. The increased muscle strength helps maintain correct posture and body mechanics in whatever you do.

Physical activity reduces the chance of injury while increasing physical performance like being able to climb stairs or carry groceries with much-added ease and confidence.


11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Physical Activity and Exercise For a Healthy Spine El Paso, TX.

Exercise Suggestions

The benefits a regular exercise program offers are one of the keys to a healthier lifestyle. But take it in steps, see a health coach, physical therapist or chiropractor to help educate and guide you through an exercise treatment plan. Helpful tips:

  • It can take 6 to 8 weeks to see results so focus on short-term goals.
  • Work regular exercise into your schedule but keep important activities as a priority.
  • Friends and relatives can help give you support and join in the exercise.
  • You don’t have to do an entire workout. Instead, exercise for 10 minutes.
  • Consistency in physical activity is the goal. It’s not how long or hard the exercise is.
  • Keep a journal of your workouts and progress.

With the healthy changes made today, including diet choices and regular physical activity/exercise, your life will be one-hundred times better. This does not mean that you have to become an intense workout aficionado. Remember all that is needed is a reduction in weight of only 10%. This is what is needed to reduce the detrimental effects of being overweight.

Our clinical focus and personal goals are to help your body heal itself naturally quickly and effectively.� At times, it may seem like a long path; nevertheless, with our commitment to you, it�s sure to be an�exciting journey. The�commitment to you in health is to, never lose�our deep connection to each one of our patients on this journey.

When your body is truly healthy, you will arrive at your optimal fitness level proper physiological fitness state. �We want to help you live a new and improved lifestyle. Over the last two decades, while researching and testing methods with thousands of patients, we have learned what works effectively at decreasing pain while increasing human vitality.


*AMAZING* Custom Orthotics for Athletes | El Paso, Tx



NCBI Resources

It can be tempting to not exercise with a spinal condition. But remember that if there is no movement at all, you could make the pain worse.�Knowing what your body can handle and sticking to a workable schedule, these healthy steps will relieve you and help with your low back pain.