How to relieve muscle pain due to cold weather

Man holding his painful wrist, he's wearing white long sleeves

Muscle pain during cold weather is a common concern for many individuals, especially those who engage in athletic activities or have existing muscle issues. Cold-induced muscle pain is caused by many factors, like reduced blood flow, muscle tension, and inflammation. In this article, we will dig into the relationship between cold weather and muscle pain, the underlying causes, and ways to mitigate this discomfort.

Why cold weather causes muscle pain

Reduced blood flow

Senior man with hand and wrist pain

Cold temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict and reroute the blood to vital organs like the heart and brain, thereby reducing the blood flow to the muscles. This constriction not only deprives the muscles of sufficient oxygen but also stalls the removal of waste, leading to muscle pain.

Muscle tension

Man suffering muscle cramps while jogging; he's wearing a hoodie, pants, and running shoes

Cold weather causes our muscles to contract to maintain body temperature. This can make your muscles more fatigued, causing pain for longer periods. It can also cause muscle spasms, which can be painful and can hinder normal motion.


A sick man taking medication, he has a gray cloth on his back and he is sitting in front of a table

Cold weather can indirectly cause illnesses like the flu, which causes inflammation. This inflammation can also affect muscles, causing pain and discomfort.

Lower air pressure

Man having a cramp while sitting

Cold weather causes the expansion of soft tissues around the joints, causing pressure on the joints. This and the resulting restriction cause pain, discomfort, and a decrease in the range of movement.

Pre-existing conditions

Senior man suffering from arthritis knee pain

People with conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia can experience more pain during cold weather. This is due to higher pain sensitivity, reduced blood flow, and muscle tension that cold weather can cause.

Relieving muscle pain due to cold weather

Man holding a warm compress to his painful right shoulder
  1. Warm-up properly. Before engaging in physical activity during cold weather, ensure to perform an adequate warm-up routine that includes stretching to increase blood flow and muscle temperature.
  2. Dress appropriately. Wear layered clothing to retain body heat and protect yourself from the cold.
  3. Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause and exacerbate muscle spasms and cramps. Make sure you remain well-hydrated during cold weather by drinking plenty of water.
  4. Consider heat packs. Applying heat packs or a warm towel during cold weather can help relax muscles, increase blood flow, and alleviate pain.
  5. Try essential oils. Some essential oils possess pain-relieving properties that can be effective in reducing discomfort caused by cold weather.

See related: 100% Natural Muscle Pain Relief Cream

Essential oils that may help relieve cold-induced muscle pain

Beyond their pleasing aromas, essential oils possess therapeutic properties that can help deal with muscle pain and discomfort caused by cold temperatures.

Lavender and a vial of Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil. Known for its soothing properties, lavender oil can aid in relaxing tense muscles. Moreover, it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain.

Cypress Essential Oil on a bottle with dropper, cypress leaves, and bottles

Cypress oil. Cypress oil can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Research studies show its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Arnica montana flowers

Arnica oil. Renowned for its ability to reduce pain and inflammation, arnica oil is potentially beneficial in alleviating discomfort associated with inflammation, strains, and sprains. It also has antispasmodic properties that may be beneficial to muscle pain caused by cold weather.

Candle, Frankincense Oil and resin on wooden surface

Frankincense oil. Frankincense oil possesses antispasmodic properties that may be beneficial to muscle spasms caused by cold temperatures. It also offers anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits, possibly helping soothe muscle aches.

While using essential oils, please remember to always dilute them with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or olive oil before applying them directly to the skin. You can also use the combination of lavender, cypress, arnica, and frankincense essential oils in CANhaveTODAY’s award-winning salve, Soothing Juggernaut. This product can give a soothing and warming relief to pain, which can be useful in taking care of muscle pain due to cold weather.

Soothing Juggernaut New Product Photo

A quick note: This product contains Sodium borate. The government of Canada does not recommend the use of products containing Sodium borate on open wounds, cuts, or abrasions. Remember that these essential oils and Soothing Juggernaut are not meant to replace professional medical advice. Consult with a physician before starting any new treatments to ensure their suitability for your needs.


Why does my muscle pain seem to get worse during cold weather?

Cold weather can increase muscle tension, reduce the circulation of blood in our body, exacerbate existing conditions like arthritis, and lower air pressure, which can intensify muscle pain. This is due to the body’s mechanisms aimed at conserving heat, redirecting blood flow to the most vital organs and causing muscles to contract.

How can I reduce muscle pain during cold weather?

You can reduce muscle pain during cold weather by doing warm-up exercises, dressing adequately for cold temperatures, staying hydrated, using heat packs, and using adjunct relievers like essential oils.

How can essential oils help reduce muscle pain during cold weather?

Essential oils have properties that may help relieve muscle pain caused by cold temperatures. Many of them are known for their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and circulation-enhancing effects, which can help soothe muscle pain and tension.

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