317 St. Francis Dr. Suite 350
Greenville, SC 29601

317 St. Francis Dr.
Suite 350
Greenville, SC 29601
Tel: 1-864-235-1834, Fax: 1-864-235-2486

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Weather Sensitive Pain

Weather sensitive pain is caused by the sympathetic nervous system

Many people believe that cold weather joint pain and barometric pressure headaches are a myth, a complaint taught to them by their parents to explain why they were grouchy or not feeling well on any particular day. Recently, however, the medical community has come on board, reporting that the phenomenon is real.

What is confusing is that the barometric pressure is the determining factor, not the weather we see outside at the moment. Most often a falling barometer is the culprit, although in a minority of cases the opposite can be true. The effect is also more pronounced the colder it is.

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The Sympathetic Nervous System & RSD

The sympathetic nervous system supplies all of the body structures — including muscle, tendon, ligament, dura, disk, synovium, bone, and even the internal organs. When one of these sites receives an injury, it’s the sympathetic nervous system’s job to monitor the injury and tell the spinal cord or the brain about it. Sometimes the sympathetic nerves forget to stop monitoring the injury.

This can be compared to a car engine that keeps on running (or dieseling), even after being turned off. When this happens to the sympathetic nerves, a very painful syndrome called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) can develop. Chronic Regional Pain syndrome (CRPS) is another term that is often used to describe this syndrome.

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The Triple C Syndrome

Triple C syndrome

The Triple C Syndrome occurs when the C fiber, by reflex becomes super sensitive to an underlying injury of the “A delta” nerve fiber. The “A delta” nerve is sensitive to vibration, and therefore people with this problem complain that driving or operating any machinery that vibrates makes them worse.

Since the C fiber is trying to limit the effect of this injury, it intensely fires, causing vasoconstriction. People with this problem say that (1) cold is painful, (2) cold burns and (3) they have cold skin.

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