It’s not necessarily an old wives’ tale that cold weather can have an impact on pain, sometimes occurring in advance of major cold fronts or storms. While researchers and spine surgeons in Los Angeles don’t fully agree, there is compelling evidence to suggest that cold weather can, at least, affect the intensity of back pain and discomfort.
Theories on pain and cold weather suggest that changes in barometric pressure may be responsible for fluctuating pain levels. Barometric pressure refers to the weight of the air in the atmosphere. The “heavy air” that’s often characteristic of colder weather puts pressure on tissues surrounding the bones within the back, resulting in increased pain and discomfort.
Cold Weather and Mood
Numerous studies suggest that colder weather also affects moods. A person’s mood can affect back pain by decreasing the motivation to go for daily walks, engage in light exercise or eat healthy. A change in mood can also increase stress levels, making any pain and discomfort in the back more noticeable than it would be otherwise.
Avoiding Winter Back Pain
Keeping indoor environments as warm as possible can certainly help with cold-related back pain. A thick coat or sweater when it’s necessary to go outside can keep the lower back area warm. Stay active with daily warm-ups indoors or going to a local gym. Aside from being a nice treat, a trip to a health spa during the winter months can do wonders for the back too.
While there’s no way to completely avoid encountering cold weather now and then, steps can be taken to compensate for the change in atmospheric pressure. By finding other forms of exercise and activity and staying as warm and comfortable as possible when the mercury falls, it may be possible to avoid or minimize back pain during colder months.
For individuals suffering from severe and chronic back pain, it may be time to consider your treatment options. With help from advanced technology and additional knowledge about the spine, conservative methods and traditional fusions are no longer the only option. Call (310) 828-7757 to find out more about advanced surgical procedures such as lumbar ADR and Mobi-C and take the first step toward a pain-free lifestyle.