As winter fully descends, the temperature falls, and it’s during this time that acute back pain increases. The most common area affected by this shift in temperature is your lower back, with severe back pain sometimes dogging people throughout the winter and into the summer. Along with common colds and dry skin, back pain is just one of those afflictions that peaks in the winter, which is why it’s helpful to examine ways of preventing it.
In order to tackle the pain, it’s helpful to know what’s happening back there: your lower back contains a complicated array of different muscles, ligaments, disks and bones. Problems, such as strain on those muscles or a ruptured disk, can cause back pain ranging from mild to severe. Learning how to lift objects properly, with your knees; warming up before any strenuous physical activity; referring to a professional for specific tips on reducing back pain and neck pain; and paying attention to your posture, even when sleeping, are all good places to start when seeking to prevent back pain.
It is necessary to keep an eye on yourself if you want to avoid winter back pain, which can become inflamed from normal activities and chores. For instance, if you live in an area where you shovel a lot of snow (e.g. here in Toronto), this action can cause shoulder, back or neck pain. However, pairing that chore with certain exercises like planks and side planks can benefit your stomach and back muscles.
But although planks and side planks can help strengthen your back muscles, you will need to make sure you do that correctly. In addition, certain exercises like toe touch should be avoided, especially when you are experiencing lower back pain, as this can aggravate a possible disc injury in your low back. Many people wish to improve their abdominal muscles but lack a clear understanding of which exercises are bad and good in coping with low back pain. Here, if you are using sit-ups like a lot of people to strengthen your core muscles, please know understand that sit-ups may also put a lot of pressure on your spine disks.
On the other hand, if you’re experiencing upper back pain, some of the potential causes could be:
- Rib Subluxation — an out-of-place rib
- Levator scapula muscle trigger point
- Rhomboid muscle trigger point
Parents who carry their children on their back may encounter upper back pain, because they often hold their chin up and out, which can lead to problems with the ribs and spine. If you’re carrying your child (or any heavy thing for that matter) you will want to talk to a chiropractor in Toronto about practical methods and the best exercises for taking care of upper back pain.
Muscle tension and migraine headaches are two common side effects of back pain, and rank among the top reasons people seek chiropractic services. You might be tempted to use painkillers in trying to handle these troubles hoping they can make the pain go away fast, but that neglects the underlying issue. Often, a headache is due to chiropractic problems in the neck, so it’s advisable that you work on your stretches and visit a respected chiropractor. Winter doesn’t have to be all bad – follow this guide and give back pain the cold shoulder this winter.