While there is no direct correlation between climate, temperatures and back pain, colder weather and the winter season can result in an increased risk of spine-related pain and injuries. We explain a few reasons for this and what you can do to beat the odds and maintain your spine health!
Depressive Winter Days
Winter days are sometimes gray and gloomy. Even here in the sunny Phoenix area, it gets dark rather early in the late afternoon. Fewer hours of sunlight, holiday memories of lost loved ones, and stress can contribute to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and even depression – all of which can bring on spine-related pain flare-ups. Instead of letting winter days wear you down, stay physically active and social. When it gets dark, make it a point a few nights a week to go to some place lively and bright such as a shopping mall or health club. Just because it’s dark early, that doesn’t mean the day is over!
You Might Exercise Less
Being physically active makes us feel good and keeps pain away. Load bearing exercises, especially those that strengthen the core muscles, help keep our neck and back healthy. In the Spring and Summer months, most of us have a certain motivation for fitness that we gradually lose during the Fall and Winter months. In turn, our bodies become less healthy and more prone to pain – even more so if you have a chronic condition. Instead of falling into this vicious cycle, find fun ways to stay committed to your fitness routine year round. You will feel better now and won’t have to deal with getting back in shape when the longer days come back around!
Careful In The Cold
If you live in a very cold climate or will be travelling to areas where there is snow and ice on the ground, you can never be too vigilant. In the winter months, numerous senseless injuries occur. A major and life-altering spine injury could be only one accident or slip and fall away. Do not take chances and always use caution.
Don’t Over Indulge In “Comfort Foods”
For chronic pain sufferers, many favorite winter time “comfort foods” such as macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes made with heavy cream and lots of butter can cause much more pain than comfort. Want to stay well and avoid inflammation-induced neck and back pain? Do some research on the anti-inflammation diet. You will learn why eating whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that naturally fight off inflammation is so important for your spine health!
Our goal is for our patients to maintain their spine health and stay as pain-free as possible throughout every season of the year. Wellness is a life long journey, and we’re happy to contribute to helping our patients stay healthy! Stridewell Tipsread article