Now that November is here and the weather has started to get cold, many people find that aches and pains can be worse during the winter. There could be a scientific explanation for this. There is some research that suggests that low air pressure may be responsible for this phenomenon.
The theory is that pain sensations come from a variety of different nerve endings one of which is pressure sense; this is the reason why we rub things to make them feel better. Just as a slight increase in pressure can make things hurt less, an overall drop in environmental pressure could make things slightly worse.
If you are one of those sensitive people who can tell ‘in their bones’ when there is going to be a change in the weather then you are probably right.
Having established that your back pain may get slightly worse during the cold weather, we need to look at ways to improve it.
Pain Protection From The Winter Weather
The first and most obvious is to dress warmly. Ideally, wear several thin layers rather than one thick and heavy layer, Granny was right in the fact that you shouldn’t be out without a vest and that vest should be long enough to cover your low back down to your hips.
All too often we see people bending over and exposing the most vulnerable area of the lower back to the cold air, so tuck in!
It’s also important to wear good supportive shoes or boots so that you don’t slip on wet leaves, mossy paths or icy roads. You can always change into indoor shoes when you reach your destination.
Before going outdoors, especially if you are going outside to work in the garden, warm up your muscles with a few stretches first. Cold muscles are more likely to get strained so treat any outdoor exercise as if it was a workout in the gym and start gently, leaving the heavier work until you are thoroughly warmed up.
Make sure you drink enough, dehydration can contribute to stiff muscles, and hot drinks will warm you from the inside.
Watch your posture, it is easy to stoop when you are cold, but hunching will add strain to your back and make things worse, so stand up straight and relax your shoulders.
Even when it’s cold it is still good to get outdoors at least once a day and take some exercise, a brisk walk will warm you to the core and the fresh air will lift your spirits.
If it’s raining just think how good it will feel when you are back indoors again at the end.
As always we at Bridport Chiropractic Centre are happy to answer your questions about any aspect of the back, neck and joint care for any member of the family.