The colder months aren’t just gloomy and gray — they can also affect your spine health. Many patients at The Spine Care Center find that their back pain gets worse during the winter, leading to a whole season of misery.
Our spine health experts want to help you keep your back healthy all year long. Follow their advice below to help prevent spine pain and injuries this winter, and be sure to contact The Spine Care Center in Manassas if you need effective back pain treatment. We’ll develop a personalized treatment plan designed to help you get back to pain-free living!
Exercise can help keep your back strong and limber, preventing back pain. Whether you enjoy working in your garden or going for walks after dinner, we’re willing to bet that you’re significantly more active when it’s warm outside. In the winter months, however, you may find yourself cooped up inside on the couch. While we understand that it can be difficult for many people to go for walks or spend time outside in the midst of winter, the less physical activity you get, the more likely you are to experience back pain.
This winter, find ways to keep moving so that your back stays strong. You might try:
- Doing activities around the house, like vacuuming or home interior projects such as repainting a room.
- Bundling up for walks outside or finding areas where you can walk inside. Great options include shopping malls, community centers, and some school gyms.
- Using a treadmill or elliptical machine in your home.
- Joining a gym in your community so that you can stay active throughout the year.
- Completing yoga or watching workout videos in your home.
- A little activity can go a long way in keeping your back healthy until the warmer months arrive again.
When you are cold, you tense up all your muscles, including those in your back. When your muscles are tight throughout the day, they can become tired and painful. They are also at a higher risk of injury.
Try to stay warm by wearing layers outdoors and indoors. You may also consider turning up your heater a degree and pre-warming your car before you head to work with a remote starter. Electric blankets can also keep your body warm and your muscles relaxed while you sleep.
You can also loosen up tense muscles by stretching your back regularly throughout the day. Every hour, take time to do stretches like bending to the side or stretching your arms up over your head. If you cannot stretch throughout the day, then try to set aside some time each night to stretch and decompress.
Be Safe in Winter Weather
Winter weather puts you at higher risk for falls and other injuries to your back. Shoveling snow, for instance, can be strenuous work. When dealing with winter weather, you should:
- Walk in small steps with your toes pointed out (like a penguin) to reduce your risk of falling.
- Invest in winter boots with good traction to help you avoid slipping.
- Use your legs to lift when shoveling snow by bending at the knees rather than at your hips.
- Salt your sidewalks before winter weather arrives, and be sure to clear your sidewalks quickly.
- Consider paying a company or neighbor to clear your driveway and sidewalks for you if you currently struggle with back pain.
A bad fall can lead to months of back pain and serious spinal injury, so always exercise caution when walking on ice or snow.
We hope that today’s entry will help you stay safe this winter. For help with your spine pain, no matter the season, turn to the trusted experts. Contact The Spine Care Center in Manassas today at (703) 257-2266 or by filling out our online form.