It’s that time of year again! Time to bundle up, drink hot cocoa, and do whatever you can to avoid agitating your back or neck pain. The cold winter months can be a real back and neck pain trigger. The air temperature drops, the ground is frozen, and the wind begins to whip through the trees. All of these factors can cause back muscles to go stiff, vertebrae to lock up, and back ligaments to become irritated or inflamed.
The best way to prevent back pain is by staying extra warm during the winter months. This will keep your muscles loose and flexible which results in less tension, pressure on discs, and reduced episodes of muscle spasms or sharp pains. So stay cozy this winter with these tips for preventing back pain:
Protect Your Neck
Part of the issue with back and neck pain during winter months is that cold air can go straight to the exposed areas of your body, especially your neck. Often we overlook protecting our necks from the cold winter weather, but to prevent back and neck pain, make sure you’re wearing a scarf or neck warmer. Keeping your neck warm during the winter months is important because it can reduce back and neck strain by keeping your muscles loose, flexible, and more elastic.
The best way to stay warm is by putting on some layers. Layers can help trap body heat and keep back muscles happy, so layer up with some sweaters or sweatshirts even if it feels a bit bulky at first. As long as you’re staying active outside in the winter weather while wearing all of your layers, back muscles will be less stiff and vertebrae won’t lock up. This will keep your back and body warm and help to increase circulation throughout the body.
Watch Your Head
Did you know that the majority of our body heat escapes from our heads? It makes sense when you think about it. Our heads are the barest part of our body, so they’re usually exposed to colder winter winds and temperatures. To keep back muscles healthy during winter months, always wear a hat when going outside in order to prevent back stiffness caused by cold air reaching your neck and back muscles.
Use a Heating Pad
A heating pad can be a great way to help relax tense or strained muscles. It’s especially helpful to use a heating pad on back muscles when you get home from spending time outside in the cold winter weather. A good heating pad will give your back some much-needed warmth and help back muscles relax, which can increase blood flow to back areas that need it most.
Your back and neck work very hard for you every day, so make sure to take care of them this winter and stay warm. If back or neck pain is something that worries you as the weather gets colder, please schedule an appointment with William Capicotto MD, PC! We can help assess what’s causing back and/or neck pain and recommend an appropriate course of treatment to get you back on your feet. Call us today to schedule your consultation at (716) 881-0382.