With its snowy backdrops and festive holidays, winter is a wonderful season. However, as the weather cools, the likelihood of developing lower back pain increases. Muscle tension, achy joints, and acute back pain are common side effects of cold weather and strenuous winter activities.
With the arrival of winter, most people with back injuries report that their pain worsens, while others report experiencing their first lower backache.
You might wonder why this is, so here are the top reasons your back hurts more in the winter and how to treat them.
Causes of Back Pain in Winters
- With more extended periods of sitting, you become more sedentary during the winter. When it’s cold outside, you tend to wrap yourself in a blanket and curl up to stay warm. This can result in poor posture, which puts more strain on your back structures.
- You tend to exercise less. This is primarily due to the cold days of winter, as well as the shorter daylight hours. As a result, your body becomes deconditioned, and its strength and stability deteriorate. You don’t stretch out all of your muscles and joints regularly because of this lack of movement, resulting in muscle tightness and joint stiffness.
- In the cold, your muscles tense up, and you shiver more, resulting in increased muscle tension in the back, which can tighten and feel achy. If your back muscles are already tight, the cold weather’s effect will most likely make them tighter and thus more painful.
- In the winter, you tend to eat more and exercise less, resulting in rapid weight gain. This extra weight might put increased stress and pressure on your lower back.
- You tend to drink less water in the winter because you aren’t as thirsty. Back pain and disc narrowing can be caused by dehydration. When your discs become dehydrated, they cannot share the load, causing more force to be transferred to other structures.
Back Pain in Winter Home Remedies
No matter what causes back pain in winters, there are some home remedies that you can try, or you can consult a chiropractor.
Apply Direct Heat
By applying heat directly to the painful area, you can improve circulation. You can do this with a warm towel, a heating pad, or a hot pack but avoid exposing your skin to direct heat. Heat should be applied in short bursts of 15-20 minutes. Direct heat applications give you relief by:
- Stimulating sensory receptors in your skin, which decreases the pain signals sent to the brain
- Dilating the blood vessels of muscles that support the spine
- Increasing elasticity of the soft tissues, which reduces muscle tension which sometimes causes back pain
Use Heat Wraps
Use a heat wrap to get relief from back pain. Heat wraps, available online and in many grocery stores, can be worn around the waist for lower back pain or draped over the shoulders for upper back or neck pain. Wraps, which can be worn for up to 8 hours at a time, can help to extend the benefits associated with heat.
Try Water Therapy
Water has natural therapeutic properties as well. Water therapy can include taking a long warm bath or sitting in a hot bathtub or whirlpool tub for a while. Swimming in the heated pool can produce similar results if you don’t have back pain aggravated by certain swimming motions. It can even be beneficial to walk around in a heated therapy pool. Water therapy may be helpful if you’re suffering from back pain caused by:
- Reduced circulation from any underlying health problems like diabetes
- Muscle irritation or damage
When the weather turns colder, some people become more relaxed. While there’s nothing wrong with spending some time on the couch on a cold day watching a good movie, prolonged periods of inactivity can aggravate back pain. Inactivity weakens the main muscle groups that support the spine, meaning your backbone absorbs more of the stress from your daily activities. Even if you can’t get outside as much during the winter, you can stay active by:
- Doing some simple stretching exercises at your home.
- Choosing water-based exercises in the indoor pools
- Using indoor treadmills or the elliptical machines
- Joining a gym
Another way to combat back pain that worsens during the colder months is to pay attention to what you eat. While it may be tempting to overindulge in tasty treats over the holidays, since certain foods cause inflammation, this could be contributing to your back pain becoming more noticeable.
So, what to do this winter to avoid this? It’s pretty simple to alleviate the aches and pains in your back that the colder months can cause.
- Engaging in more physical activity will make a big difference.
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a healthy diet
- Do regular stretches
- Sit up straight
Oh, and when the weather turns cold, make sure you keep warm! Consult your physiotherapist if your pain fluctuations are becoming increasingly severe as a result of the weather.
1- Why does my back hurt in winter?
Because your muscles tend to tense up when it is cold, and you shiver a lot, resulting in increased muscle tension in the back, causing it to tighten up and feel achy.
2- What is the best cold weather back pain treatment?
Steamed towels, hot baths, and moist heating packs help to reduce back pain.
3- What kind of back pain is associated with Covid?
An inflammatory response within the body may lead to muscle pain and body aches in COVID-19 sufferers, especially in the upper and lower back.
4- Can your back hurt from cold?
In short, yes! Because our muscles and ligaments tighten during cold weather, we can experience back pain.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top physiotherapists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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