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.

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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:
severe emotional instability
suspected muscular dystrophy
poor balance
impaired ability to walk
poor bodily coordination
being blind or nearly blind
difficulty swallowing
specific muscle weakness
severe muscle weakness
severe muscle cramps/twitching
Duchene muscular dystrophy
low lymphocyte count
... 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
Muscular Dystrophy 96% Confirm
Multiple Sclerosis 50% 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.

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