Muscular System

What affect does cold have on hand muscles?

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Wiki User
2008-09-22 20:55:37

The affects would be generally the same as all other skeletal

muscles: Cold muscles get less oxygen and that makes it more

difficult for the body to remove waste products like carbon dioxide

and lactic acid from them. Exercising with cold muscles makes it

harder for them to burn fatty acids which then get clogged in the

arteries. Cold muscles are less responsive to signals from the

nervous system so movements are less coordinated. They are also

less elastic and don't absorb shock or impact as well as warm

muscles which then makes them more prone to injury.

Uncomfortably cold working conditions can lead to lower work

efficiency and higher accident rates. Cold impairs the performance

of tasks. Manual tasks are also impaired because the sensitivity

and dexterity of fingers are reduced in the cold. At low

temperatures, the cold affects the deeper muscles resulting in

reduced muscular strength and stiffened joints. Mental alertness is

reduced due to cold-related discomfort. For all these reasons

accidents are more likely to occur in very cold working conditions.

Cooling of body parts may result in various nonfreezing cold

injuries. Fingers are at greatest risk because this area does not

have major muscles to produce heat. In addition, the body will

preserve heat by favouring the internal organs, thus reducing the

flow of blood to the extremities under cold conditions. Hands tend

to get cold more quickly than the torso because:

# they lose heat more rapidly since they have a higher surface

area-to-volume ratio, and # they are more likely to be in contact

with colder surfaces than other parts of the body. --submitted by

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