How to Manage Back Pain During the Winter Months
Chilly weather can be delightful, especially when you’re spending time bundled up outdoors with friends and loved ones. Whether you’re building snowmen or simply enjoying the crisp air on a walk, there’s something to love about the winter for just about everyone. If you experience chronic back pain, however, lower temperatures can come with a cost.
Cold weather can have a negative impact on consistent back pain in many ways. Fortunately, there are a few methods that can alleviate discomfort at home.
Avoid Strenuous Winter Activities
Decorating is a big part of winter around the holidays. Ornate outdoor lights and yards of colorful tinsel are staples of the season. Hanging decorations might not be the best holiday activity for those who suffer from back pain, however. Certain activities that require stretching or reaching might result in a flare-up or muscle tension.
Seasonal chores such as shoveling snow or scraping ice are also known to create problems for anyone who has consistent back pain. Putting too much force into an activity like cleaning a walkway can make existing back issues much worse.
Winter activities like ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding can also result in discomfort because they put undue strain and tension along the neck and spine. For individuals who suffer from recurring back problems, it’s best to avoid strenuous activities altogether, but this is especially important in the winter.
Staying Warm Can Reduce Back Pain
If you have ever used a heating pad or an electric blanket to soothe aching muscles, you have already experienced the benefits of using warmth as a therapeutic tool. In the winter, muscles can contract to preserve heat. This is your body’s way of protecting you against the cold, but it can also cause deep muscle tension and discomfort.
Using blankets and sweaters to protect yourself against chilly weather is a great idea. Many people who suffer from chronic pain utilize hot showers and warm baths to soothe tender areas like their neck, shoulders, and lower back. Also, microwavable heating packs can easily be made at home, which can provide a burst of temporary relief against muscle pain brought on by cold weather.
Manage Back Pain with Exercise in the Winter
Even though it is recommended that individuals with frequent back pain avoid high-impact activities, especially during the winter months, finding a safe exercise regimen that works best for you is necessary to manage muscular discomfort.
Experts have noted that some indoor activities and exercises have a positive effect on chronic back pain, including:
- Using a stationary bike
- Walking on a treadmill
- Resistance training
Although there are many well-known benefits to including regular exercise in your routine—especially in the winter when it feels great to break a sweat—it can also be beneficial for mitigating existing back pain and strengthening your muscles.
Take Control of Your Health with NJ Spine & Orthopedic
If home remedies are not enough to alleviate your discomfort, it might be time to talk with an experienced spine and orthopedic surgeon. Don’t let back pain rule your life. The renowned specialists and board-certified doctors at NJ Spine and Orthopedics are here to help you reclaim your health on the road to recovery.
If you’re ready to manage your chronic back pain with personalized care and attention from a team of experts, contact us online or call (866) 272-9271.