Reason Why Hands and Feet Feel More Sensitive to Pain in Colder Temperatures

Reason Why Hands and Feet Feel More Sensitive to Pain in Colder Temperatures


cold hands


After the holidays pass, it seems like there is little to celebrate about the season. It becomes harder not to focus on the dreadful cold that the winter-time brings. As you step outside, the warmth that was once felt within your body suddenly vanishes. For cold feet and hands, chilly temperatures appear to affect the feeling of pain and numbness. Why is that?


Winter scene


According to The Weather Channel, the reason behind an increase in pain sensation within cold climates, deal with nerve endings associated with detecting temperatures. The article explains, “…there are three kinds: warm receptors that are stimulated by warm temperatures, cold receptors that are stimulated by cold temperatures, and pain receptors that are stimulated by extreme cold or warm temperatures.”

types of receptors

As your hands and feet come in contact with extreme weather (like the cold), both cold and pain receptors are activated. This simultaneous sensation can amplify the feeling of pain as a response.



Within your fingers and toes specifically, managing the cold involves decreasing blood flow within these areas. The blood is sent toward your body’s core where it’s most needed. As an effect, this decrease causes your hands and feet to become more sensitive, such as to low temperatures


blood flow


In some cases, Raynaud’s disease may be the answer to very extreme feelings of pain from the cold. These sensations usually take place for extended periods. However, a majority of the time the sensation of pain during cold climates can be a sign that your body is reacting and doing its job. In any winter-time situation, it is important to bundle up and maintain bodily warmth to your best capability.      

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