Winter has come early in sunny Chapel Hill, North Carolina this year and winter back pain has begun. We are all already feeling it in our backs and necks. Follow these 3 easy tips to prevent back pain, improve it, and feel better all winter long.
1- Keep Warm
This one sounds obvious, but many of us run out of the house under-dressed for the weather when the temperature dips colder. I am guilty for sure. What you might not realize is that back and neck pain is made worse by cold weather. This happens because the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in our back and neck tighten in response to colder temperatures. When your back tightens up, you are more susceptible to injury too. This creates a cascading effect of increased back and neck pain and a bigger risk for injury. So, bundle up!
Wearing the proper footwear can help the cause too. Shoes with grippy or rubbery soles are great for winter weather. You can even find shoes that are dressy and look great but have a good sole for winter weather. If not, wear boots and slip into dressier shoes when you are inside. Slippery conditions can make falls happen with greater ease and frequency. If you are wearing the proper footwear t is much less likely you will have to brace yourself from a fall which can put your back into tension and injure it. This basic fall prevention strategy can help you stay safer and keep your back and neck feeling better until the weather warms up again.
2- Stay Bright Through Proper Lights
Darker, shorter days are here along with the colder weather. This can create or make depression worse for some people. Science proves that back pain and depression are highly linked. People who are more depressed have worse and more chronic back and neck pain. One easy trick to beat the winter blues is to use lighting in your home and office that makes you feel good. For me, it is warm white light (not super bright white). I use a lot of desk and table lamps throughout my office to create a bright, warm and inviting ambiance that I love to work in.
Use lighting to brighten your world throughout the day for less pain. Bonus, it will increase Serotonin levels in your brain to help beat depression and the winter blues.
3- Get Moving
With shorter, darker days and colder temperatures, many people skip the workouts or daily walks. Even a daily walk and stretch can keep your back and neck healthier throughout the winter and ward off the pain. To keep the walks and workouts happening refer back to number 1. Get the proper outdoor gear for your workout of choice or for daily walks. I used to fall victim to skipping because I didn’t want to deal with the cold. Now I have awesome running attire that I am excited to put on. I have everything I need to stay warm for runs or walks so I go out just about every day. I have warm running pants and zip-ups, a vest, a headband to cover my ears (that my earbuds fit under perfectly), warm running gloves, and a neck warmer. Pavement… here I come.
You can do it too. Your back will thank you.
Use these 3 easy tips to ease your back and neck pain this winter and to stay healthier and happier all winter long.
Tips Not Enough? We can help!
If you suffer from chronic back pain or neck pain and need help healing it, then call Dr. Cosmas Leigh at Leigh Brain & Spine. Dr. Leigh has been people conquer their back and neck pain for 25 years. Call now 919-401-9933.