When the temperature dips, we are more likely to experience winter back pain blues. The reason for this is that the body naturally tenses up in colder weather. When excess strain is put on muscles, they are more susceptible to injury. While you are more likely to experience back pain in winter than during the warm months of summer, it’s not inevitable.
There are two seemingly unrelated causes of winter back pain: activity and inactivity. Athletes know from experience that they have to spend more time warming up on winter days to give their muscles a chance to loosen up. Sudden activity, even as minor as bending over to pick something up and then using your back muscles to stand up again is enough to cause muscle strain.
You might get away with slumping in your chair for hours on end in the summer, but in winter, the poor posture can take its toll and cause back pain. Cold muscles do not like to be stretches or help in an elongated position for long periods of time.
This type of mechanical stress frequently occurs when you are sitting for countless hours at your computer screen. This sedentary posture can put great stress on spinal support muscles resulting in back pain tension and stiffness. You may want to consider taking up gentle exercises to prevent back pain from taking hold in winter.
Tai Chi and Yoga are a popular form of exercise that is gentle on the spine if performed carefully. If you decide to start an new exercise routine to strengthen your back and relief back pain you might want to consult your chiropractor, physical therapist or GP to assess you level of work capacity. Your doctor is likely to perform a thorough assessment of your boy and spine and make an exercise recommendation based on your current level of physical ability.
Beating the Winter Back Pain Blues
Chiropractors report that patients suffering from back pain are often those who have sedentary jobs. While your work may force you to sit in an office chair for most of the day, there are steps you can take to prevent back pain:
- Get up and stretch periodically
- Twist and bend
- Go for a short walk
- Use a lumbar support pillow
Just a minute or two of stretching or walking will help relieve stress in the lower back and will make you able to work more productively. You needn’t practice yoga or Pilates in the office, but if you just get out of your chair, rotate your shoulders and gently twist and bend your back, it will help prevent back injury.
A walk to the water cooler will help in two ways. It will give you a break from sitting and drinking water will re-hydrate your body. This is important in winter, because we tend to drink less water than we should when the weather is cold. Yu might also like to wear an extra jumper on those really cod days. Thermal singlets and tops are another way of keeping your muscles warm. Remember, if your muscles stay warm, you are less likely to experience tight and stiff back muscles and neck pain.
Chiropractic and Massage
Regular visits to your chiropractor can help prevent winter backaches. Along with tailored advise and reassurance, your chiropractor may use muscle and joint mobilisation and massage, spinal manipulation and recommend exercises for you to follow. If you are experiencing minor back pain, a therapeutic massage can relieve the pain and prevent it from becoming worse, too.
Are you concerned about a niggling winter backache? Contact Body Mind Central “Chiro on Call,” John Petrozzi in Leichhardt, and arrange a free 10 to 15 minute conversation. That may be all it will take for you to beat the winter backache blues.