How Winter Causes Back Pain
Back pain can be crippling and debilitating. It decreases mobility and makes every day activities such as carrying children, housework and even getting dressed hard to perform. Chronic back pain can extend down to the buttocks and into the legs causing pain when sitting, standing and walking.
Back pain can also affect your mood, concentration levels, appetite and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
It’s a year round problem that is exacerbated during the long, cold winter months. So how can you cope with back pain over the winter season?
Cold weather can make your posture worse. We tend to huddle, slouch and shiver more, causing our muscles to tighten and increase the risk of strains.
Make a conscious effort to be aware of your posture. Sit and stand up straight and try to avoid slumping, especially if you are working on your computer.
Wear warm clothes and keep moving as much as possible.
Place a hot water bottle or warm compress around your neck and upper back when watching TV or lying in bed.
Use relaxation techniques and gentle stretching exercises to release back tension. Consult a qualified chiropractor for advice.
Your chiropractor can help you with good posture techniques and implement relevant treatments to realign your back and relieve pain.
This condition can worsen in the winter months. During cold weather, nerve roots in the lower back are compressed resulting in pain that extends down into the buttocks and legs. Cold temperatures cause the muscles to stiffen and become tight and tense, increasing the risk of strains. This affects the sensitive nerves in the lower back.
Massage and chiropractic therapy can treat muscle strains, relax tight muscles and help to prevent further injury.
You back is more at risk of injury when you perform the following winter chores:
Shovelling snow from paths and driveways.
Humping heavy loads such as salt for gritting, wood baskets and coal buckets.
Learn to carry heavy loads correctly.
Ask your chiropractor about safer lifting techniques.
Back injuries caused by falls are more common during wet or icy weather. Wear non-slip footwear and be extra cautious when outside.
Keep as active as possible and consult your chiropractor about exercises to help keep your back healthy this winter.