What Are The Causes Of Winter Back Pain And How To Relieve It
Winters are pure joy; the cold, the warm clothes, roasted marshmallows, hot chocolates and coffee, soup and bread for the soul, warming fireplace, and peaceful quiet. However, it brings one more thing along with it; excruciating back pain. Let’s find out what spine and back doctors recommend to manage back pain in winter.
What Is The Connection Between Winter And Back Pain?
You would have heard and experienced as well that as soon as cold weather starts, pain in your back and joints start as well. Although it cannot be scientifically proven that cold weather actually brings back pain, there is also no denying the fact that there is extreme pain in your back.
The reason for this is when cold weather starts, your body goes through a process known as vasoconstriction. In this, your blood vessels are restricted causing more blood flow to your heart, brain, and lungs so they could work more and stay warm. This leads to less blood flow in the tendons, ligaments, and joints in your whole body and supporting the spine. When they get restricted they lead to tightening and also cause a pulling sensation in your nerve endings which causes back pain. The nerves, tendons, and ligaments all become stiff and lead to pain.
So the pain is not actually on your back but experienced due to the tightening of muscles, nerves, and ligaments and due to increased blood flow.
Causes Of Back Pain In Winter
Stiffening Of Muscles
Vasoconstriction is a major cause of back pain in winter. Normally you would have heard that materials tend to contract in winter and expand in summers. The same happens with your body when blood vessels contract leading to less blood flow hence the stiffening of tendons and ligaments causing back pain.
Another natural response that your body goes through in winter is shivering. Shivering uses extra strength of your muscles and movements and causes you to breathe more. This energy loss further puts a strain on your tendons, joints, and ligaments and increases back pain.
Less Outdoor Activities
Winters are usually gloomy, dark, and eerily quiet. People tend to stay mostly indoors and kids rarely go out to play due to early nightfall. This gloominess leads to seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD. This leads to depression, sadness, and a bad mood which causes back pain as well.
People Are More Prone To Injuries During Winter
You also tend to get hurt more during winter. Why this theory is proposed is because your tendons, ligaments, and joints are already stiff and taught. These are more prone to injuries and falls and it will hurt more when you experience an accident or fall. You might have heard from your elders that you will get more hurt in winter and now you know the reason as well.
Less Physical Activity
Winter also brings with itself laziness and zero physical activity. This lack of exercise can also cause back pain. It is probably due to less sun and early nights which leads to less time for exercise.
How To Relieve Back Pain
- Do a fair amount of exercise in winter to keep your body in shape and movement. Lack of exercise and movement can also lead to back pain. Do walking, aerobics, or some sort of cardio to keep the blood running under your skin.
- Wear an ample amount of warm clothes to keep your body warm and secure. You will not experience shivering and vasoconstriction when your body is warm.
- Turn on the heater in your home.
- Invest in a pair of solid and sturdy boots when you go out. They will save you from slipping and falling down thereby lessening the chances of getting hurt and experiencing pain.
- Do not shovel the snow if you already have back pain as bending and putting effort and weight can cause an increase in the back pain.
- Consume warming foods and drinks which give energy and increase immunity. Eat boiled eggs, chicken soup, teas and coffees, potatoes, and hot drinks with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves which immediately warm your body.
The more you take care of your body the less pain you will get. Take painkillers if the pain worsens or talk to a back pain specialist Woodbridge.