Does Summer Heat Exacerbate Back Pain?

Summer Heat and Back Pain in Los Angeles, CA

If you’ve ever experienced increased discomfort on hot and humid days, you have no doubt that summer heat exacerbates back pain. In fact, there has long been a perceived association with weather and various aches and pains that may be very real, at least when it comes to back pain. Beverly Hills spine surgeons offer a few ways to make the summer months more bearable.

Barometric Pressure Changes

Part of the blame for your summer pain can be attributed to baroreceptors, sensory nerves in your joints. These special nerves cause tendons, ligaments, and muscles to expand or contract to better regulate blood flow when the humidity changes. If you have back pain, these adjustments can affect sensitive nerves.

Inconclusive Link to Humidity

In a study involving headaches and humidity, some people reported more pain on high humidity days while others had more pain on low-humidity days, possibly due to the fact that interpretation of pain is highly subjective. If you are affected by humidity, ease the impact by:

  • Using a dehumidifier to remove excess indoor moisture
  • Taking frequent breaks to cool off indoors
  • Wearing lighter clothing

Be More Active

Take advantage of the fresh air and warmer temperatures to become more active, which can also be a great way to strengthen muscles that support your spine. Avoid the hottest parts of the day by going for a walk or doing some gardening in the morning when it’s cooler. Summer exercises that can be good for your back include:

  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Biking on smooth surfaces
  • Swimming or water aerobics

Stay Hydrated

Summer heat can quickly deplete water the spongy discs that support your spine need to remain flexible. On hot and humid days, drink 1-2 cups of water per hour; and more if you’re outside exercising.

Back pain aggravated by the heat is often temporary, so it’s not likely you’ll need a change in your overall treatment. Even with adjusting your activities and taking steps to stay cool, there will be days when your back pain is hard to ignore. For most people, conservative measures like heat and cold therapy and rest will be enough to alleviated discomfort. If it becomes increasing worse or your experience a different type of pain, however, see your doctor.

Learn more about treating chronic back pain from the spine specialists at The Spine Institute Center in Beverly Hills. Our team of diagnosticians and board-certified orthopedic surgeons can determine the cause of your pain and identify viable treatment options for pain relief. Call (310) 828-7757 today and schedule your in-person consultation.