A common complaint of people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome is that cold weather makes their pain worse. The cold seems to enter the bones and make everything tense and hurt. Medical science has found a possible reason for this: an abnormally high number of sensory nerves in the circulatory system.
In fibromyalgia, cold can make the skin ache, and when it cools it can be extremely difficult to warm up again. Even so, research is divided on the exact nature of the impact of the cold.
In 2013, a study published in the journal Pain Medicine stated that researchers found additional sensory nerves that run into structures in the circulatory system called arterial venule shunts (AVS). The AVS act as valves, allowing and restricting the flow of blood, which is what transports heat through the body.
The theory is that additional nerves mean that AVS get exaggerated information about entry, such as pain and temperature, and that makes them respond inappropriately. This could explain the tendency of people with fibromyalgia hands and feet to cool and have trouble getting warm. We will need more research to know for sure what is happening and what treatments can help counteract it. Additional nerves, abnormal heat response
It is well established that temperature affects people with fibromyalgia more than other people; It is even used in research because it causes pain reliably in fibromyalgia more easily than in healthy people. Specifically, it is a good indicator of low pain thresholds (the point at which the sensation becomes painful) that are a hallmark of this condition.
A 2015 Belgian study confirmed that fibromyalgia bodies adapt differently to low temperatures. 1 In fact, it was so difficult for participants with fibromyalgia to tolerate the cold that actually hindered the research.