Muscle Tightness Or Spasms During Cold Weather

What Causes Muscle Tightness/Spasms In Cold Weather?

Muscle tightness/spasms in cold weather can have various causes, just like most other symptoms.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose muscle tightness/spasms in cold weather, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "muscle tightness/spasms in cold weather" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
multiple sclerosis in remission
severe muscle weakness
severe muscle cramps/twitching
hand tremors
poor balance
specific muscle weakness
difficulty swallowing
poor bodily coordination
incoherent speech
numb/burning/tingling extremities
inability to tell hot from cold
severe fatigue after slight exertion
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of muscle tightness/spasms in cold weather:
Cause Probability Status
Multiple Sclerosis 95% Confirm
Muscular Dystrophy 68% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate problems caused by cold/damp weather, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Does cold weather cause increased muscle tightness or spasms?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No
→ Yes, occasionally / slightly
→ Yes, regularly / definitely
→ Yes, frequently / severely
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no cold weather muscle spasms, minor cold weather muscle spasms or severe cold weather muscle spasms, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Multiple Sclerosis
Very cold temperatures, or changes in temperature, can cause MS symptom flare-ups, in particular spasticity.
Muscular Dystrophy
Paramyotonia congenita sufferers find that muscle stiffness may be made worse by exercise, especially in cold weather.

Related Questions

Environmental Risk Factors