Tips to Prevent Winter-Related Back Pain
Winter is the time of year when you may notice an increase in back pain. Although there is still debate on what specifically causes it, you may be experiencing the winter-related symptoms like clockwork.
As you get excited about the winter months ahead and all of the snow-filled activities you can’t wait to participate in, consider these tips to prevent winter-related back pain to make the winter months more enjoyable for you.
The Cold Is the Culprit behind Your Winter Back Pain
There are a few potential reasons why you may experience back pain more in the winter months. One of the explanations is that colder weather is known to cause stiff joints and muscles. Cold temperatures restrict circulation and may cause straining and tightness in your back muscles. You may feel this especially during strenuous activities like shoveling snow or scraping ice.
Lack of exercise is also a factor in back pain during the winter months. Because of this lack of activity, muscles generally become weaker and are more susceptible to injury from winter- related activities. To protect the health of your spine and reduce your chances of developing winter-related back pain, here are a few simple tips.
Stretch and Exercise
Stretching is an essential way to warm up the muscles, increase circulation, and keep you flexible for every winter activity. Making the decision to stretch every day will help prevent your back from becoming injured, sore, or strained. When stretching, consider these guidelines:
- Warm-up your muscles before stretching with a light walk
- Don’t hold a stretch too long; aim for 10-30 seconds
- Pay attention to your breathing
- Don’t bounce during stretches
- Stretch after exercising to cool off
Even though it’s tempting to stay cozy and warm instead of working out, your back and muscles will thank you. Continuing to exercise your core will also help strengthen your spine muscles and help prevent any future back pain.
There are many ways you can continue to exercise in the winter. Some ideas you could include in your workout routine are swimming in a heated pool, joining an indoor gym, and following along with workout routines online.
Layer Clothing and Wear Proper Shoes
Even though this is a typical staple of wintertime, this strategy to prevent back pain is especially important because it protects muscles and blood vessels from becoming constricted and tight. Don’t forget accessories like scarves, gloves, hats, and tall socks.
Wearing proper shoes could prevent you from slipping and falling while you are enjoying the cold weather. Shoes with deep treads or rubber shoes are perfect for walking on slippery surfaces. Back pain can be caused or worsened by fall injuries, so wearing appropriate shoes is essential to protecting your back.
One of the activities that should be done with care is shoveling snow. Even though it seems like a simple task, it can easily injure your back with the bending, lifting, and twisting motion it requires. Consider these tips when shoveling snow to avoid back injuries:
- Don’t lift with your back, lift with your arms and legs
- Shovel small amounts at a time
- Push the shovel instead of lifting it
- Take breaks and switch sides
This doesn’t just apply to shoveling snow, either. Any time you are lifting heavy objects or doing manual labor, make sure to lift with your full body instead of your back and take breaks.
To Prevent Winter-Related Back Pain, Consult with Our Spinal Pain Relief Specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery
Experiencing winter-related back pain can affect your enjoyment of the season. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery (OLSS), we are determined to offer the best, cutting-edge medical care for back and neck treatments for our patients so they can return to everyday life or prevent future issues. Our team creates an individualized treatment plan for your specific needs and recovery.
OLSS expertly identifies a range of back and spine conditions and provides the most effective, non-invasive solutions to treat pain so that you can enjoy recovery as soon as possible. Call (855) 853-6542 for more information or fill out our contact form.