Does Cold Weather Help or Harm Prostatitis Symptoms?


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Many patients with chronic prostatitis and pelvic pain report that their symptoms get worse during the cold weather months.  It’s not just in your head – recent research confirmed the relationship between weather and pain.

In a study of patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), the men reported that the weather significantly impacted their symptoms.  In fact, pain intensity was reported to be three times greater during the winter months, and the correlation was present for every man in the study.

These results correspond with the muscles of the pelvic floor being a driving force behind pelvic pain with chronic prostatitis.  As the temperature drops, these muscles get even tighter, irritating the nerves that run through the pelvis and causing additional pain. 

Conversely, many men report relief when spending time in a hot bath or jacuzzi.  This relationship is seen with other kinds of muscle-related pain; arthritis, for example, is shown to get significantly worse in the colder months.

These results emphasize why it is so important to look beyond the prostate when treating chronic prostatitis.  After all, the prostate is within the body and stays at a stable temperature of 98.6 degrees, regardless of the outside temperature.  The only explanation for the correlation between cold weather and pain intensity is the tightness within the pelvic muscles.

During winter, then, it becomes more important than ever to treat the underlying cause of pelvic pain and symptoms.  Pelvic floor physical therapy is the most proven treatment for chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome.  Raising the thermostat at home a few degrees can have a marked impact on symptoms, and don’t underestimate the benefit of soaking in a hot tub or warm bath.  A pelvic health stretching regimen can also be important to develop or maintain through the winter months.

Read more in our Prostatitis Health Center.

Reference

Hedelin H et al. Pain associated with the chronic pelvic pain syndrome is strongly related to the ambient temperature. Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology 2012 Aug; 46(4): 279-83