Some people with ongoing back or joint pain claim to know when the weather is changing based on their level of discomfort. This is just one of several common myths associated with cold weather-related pain that have been around for years. Los Angeles back surgeons take a closer look at 3 of these myths to uncover the truth about the links between cold weather and back pain.
Some studies claim to show a definite link between cold weather and back pain. However, there are just as many studies that claim there is no direct correlation between cold and back pain or there is no conclusive evidence. Any pain experienced as temperature drops is likely due to a condition aggravated by inflammation affecting the muscles and joints supporting your back.
Colder temperatures can change the pressure exerted by the weight of air (barometric pressure). These changes are often the source of weather-related pain, not the cold itself. Cold weather can make it more difficult for muscles and other soft tissues to contract, resulting in tightness or spasms. Pressure in the atmosphere can also be affected by altitude, which is why some people experience back pain while flying.
Some people claim to experience relief from back pain when in warmer and drier climates. In reality, such relief is often temporary. Once the body adjusts to the warmer temps, the pain is likely to return. Though a warmer climate may minimize changes in barometric pressure and even boost your overall mood, it’s not a magic fix for your back pain.
Any effects from cold weather are usually coincidental. It’s more likely your back pain is due to underlying issues. Meaningful relief is often experienced from a combination of passive (application of heat/ice) and active (muscle strengthening) treatments and preventative efforts such as making healthy eating choices and getting appropriate exercise.
To learn more about the causes of back pain, get in touch with Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center. If you’re looking for experts in spinal fusion, Los Angeles surgeons at The Spine Institute can perform this procedure as well as a variety of alternative treatments that can help alleviate your pain. Call our office today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.