Wind-Cold invades the Greater Yang channels first and manifests with a headache and stiffness on the occiput, where these channels flow. Cold contracts and tightens the sinews and slows down the circulation of Defensive Qi, hence the typical feeling of stiffness at the back of the neck. This headache is obviously of acute onset and can be very severe but it will last only a short time, i.e. for the duration of time that the Wind-Cold is on the Exterior.
Once the pathogenic factor penetrates the Interior, this type of headache goes. There are exceptions, however, as in a few cases when the external Wind-Cold is not expelled it can settle in the muscles and give rise to chronic headaches.
In acute cases, apart from the headache, there would also be generalized aches of the whole body as the exterior Wind-Cold obstructs the free circulation of Defensive Qi in the muscles. Other symptoms and signs include: aversion to cold, shivers, possibly a fever, stiff and achy shoulders, absence of thirst, some breathlessne cough, sneezing, a runny nose with a white discharge or a blocked nose, pale urine and a Floating-Tight pulse.