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How to deal with back pain in cold weather?

At some point in life, everyone experiences back pain due to factors such as injury, lifestyle, posture, medical conditions or aging. Unfortunately, it is believed that cold weather can aggravate or trigger back pain. Many people who regularly suffer from back pain find that it becomes worse during the winter months. Even people who do not usually experience this type of pain seek medical attention for it when the temperature drops.

Causes of back pain during winter:

Dr. Pramod Bhor, Director of Orthopedics and Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon at Fortis Hospital, Vashi, talked about the causes of back pain during winter and listed the following:

  • Changes in barometric pressure, which is the air pressure outside, can cause joint expansion and pain in individuals with conditions such as arthritis. This is especially common in cold weather when the pressure drops.
  • Cold weather can cause muscles to stiffen and increase the likelihood of muscle strains and related injuries. This can result in discomfort and back pain when walking in cold temperatures.
  • The physical discomfort and fatigue associated with cold weather can increase stress levels, putting additional strain on the back muscles. Activities like carrying heavy items can increase this stress. Thus, there will be intense back pain.
  • To stay warm, people may bend over more often in cold weather, leading to bad posture, which puts pressure on the back muscles and leads to unbearable back pain. Don’t ignore your back pain as it can get you into trouble.
  • The onset of seasonal depression may hinder your ability to engage in physical activity or participate in typical cold-weather recreation that promotes physical well-being, increasing your susceptibility to back pain.
  • Back pain can also be seen due to low levels of Vitamin D. Illnesses such as flu, bronchitis or pneumonia, which are prevalent during the cold season, can either directly cause body aches or lead to prolonged periods of inactivity.

Ways to deal with back pain during winter:

Dr. Pramod Bhor also suggested tips that can help us deal with back pain during winter:

  • Move your body regularly and follow regular exercise to maintain your blood circulation. Preventing back pain includes taking regular breaks from sitting every 2-3 hours and doing exercises that strengthen the lower back and spine. These exercises focus on building lumbar strength and promoting overall back health. Also do stretching from time to time.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, which helps soften and lubricate your joints, keeps your skin cells plump, provides nutrients and protects the lining of your intestinal tract.
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night to rest your body and reduce inflammation.
  • Manage stress by finding ways to relax and take care of your emotional well-being.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables and avoid sugary foods that can weaken your immune system. Maintain a balanced diet to support your body’s natural ability to care for itself. Take calcium and vitamin D supplements as recommended by your doctor.
  • Stay warm and get pain relief with heat therapy, which can increase flexibility and comfort in muscles, connective tissues and the spine.
  • Adopting good posture, dressing in layers, balancing body weight, and taking frequent breaks when walking in the cold can help relieve this discomfort.

Preventive measures to reduce back pain caused by cold:

Dr. Narendran Dasaraju, DNB (ORTHO), MCh (ORTHO) at Apollo Spectra Chennai, gives some preventive tips to reduce back pain:

  • Regular Exercise Routine: Establishing a consistent exercise regimen that targets core strength and flexibility throughout the year helps prevent back pain during the colder months.
  • dress appropriately: Wear appropriate clothing to stay warm, especially when out in cold temperatures, to reduce muscle contractions and stiffness.
  • Ergonomic Practice: Apply ergonomic principles to daily activities, whether at work or at home, to reduce stress on the back and maintain spinal alignment.
  • Be active: Despite the cold weather, try to stay active through indoor exercise or activities to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness.

How Ayurveda can help deal with back pain:

Dr. Yamuna of Guduchi Ayurveda recognizes the profound insights Ayurveda provides about the root causes of back pain. According to Ayurvedic principles, aggravation of Vata dosha and disturbance in digestion leads to accumulation of toxins in the body’s ducts, resulting in back pain.

“From sedentary lifestyle to aging, addressing the various causes of back pain requires a holistic approach. Ayurvedic treatments like Abhyanga, Kati Vasti and Najavarakizhi help in the management of back pain by restoring balance and harmony within the body. For musculoskeletal health in this area, Ayurveda offers powerful anti-degenerative solutions. The efficacy of Ayurvedic formulations such as Bala, Ashwagandha and other herbs, fortified 101 times in sesame oil and consumed in a soft gel, is half the :Gives excellent results in dealing with relapses. Additionally, the role of external application is that oils, especially classical preparations like Mahanarayan oil help in relieving stiffness of muscles and joints while reducing pain and inflammation,” says Dr. Yamuna said.

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