Winter Weather and Back Pain
Winter is upon us which means for many people, their back pain can act up around this time of year. Winter does not have to be synonymous with back pain, and there are ways you can ease or prevent your pain during this season. It helps to be prepared for what all of winter will bring. If you need help with your back pain or any other physical pain, our physical therapy in Massapequa Park at Park Physical Therapy may be the answer.
The winter months can bring specific causes for back pain for many reasons:
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – this starts when fall is in full swing and winter is creeping up right behind it. You are not crazy if you think there is a correlation between the weather being more melancholy and you feeling depressed or not having energy.
- Shoveling snow – the winter brings a lot of snow so unless you’re willing to pay someone you will have to shovel. If you are not careful, you could hurt yourself. There are a few things one can do to make sure they are shoveling properly.
- Do not lift too much snow at once; depending on the weather the snow could become heavier.
- Getting the right shovel matters, too. You should buy a shovel with a curved rod with a plastic shovelhead. The curved rod will help with the lifting and the plastic is a lighter alternative to metal shovels.
- Lift with your knees, not with your back. If you are going to be shoveling let your knees and legs do the work. If you do injure yourself by not lifting properly, you should visit physical therapy in Massapequa Park, NY to help yourself recover.
- Winter chores – if you celebrate Christmas, you may have to lift a tree into your house or run yourself ragged through endless gift shopping. If you are not aware of how to lift things properly, any of these chores could be the one that harms you.
Advice to prevent back pain
Back pain is manageable no matter the season, but what does matter is to know how to properly handle your back pain. If your pain becomes too much for you to handle by yourself, you should consider receiving physical therapy in Massapequa Park, NY.
- Stretching – the cold weather causes your muscles, blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments to contract and become stiff. Stretching helps increase the blood flow to these areas and makes them become limber again.
- Heating – if certain areas hurt like your back, shoulders, and knees, then you may want to consider using heating pads or a topical relief gel.
- Sleeping – if you sleep on your side, put a pillow in between your legs; or if you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees. Either way, this will help reduce the strain on your back.
- Lift properly – always check to see the state of the snow when shoveling. There is a difference between shoveling fresh snow and snow that has been on your driveway for a week. Always use your legs and knees and let your lower body do all the work.