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  • Writer's pictureTaruna Rijhwani

Should I Blame Cold Weather for my Back Pain?

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

As the season is changing, a common question or statement I hear all the time is “My pain is due to the cold weather” or “Is this because of the weather?” Now there is some truth associated with this assumption, I mean there is a reason that retired people love to march to Florida for its tropical weather, but it certainly does not have to be the reason for your limited mobility the entire season.

So, let’s dive into this topic a little bit deeper. Usually when the weather gets colder, barometric pressure tends to drop as well & although there is no research that has studied this extensively, it tends to make your joints stiffer than average. As a result, you feel “achy” & “stiff” especially on those extremely cold days. Now this sensation is even more heightened if you already in pain or suffering from some kind of discomfort because your overall sensitivity is now more. Put simply, your threshold to pain is now lower.

Another big easily REVERSIBLE reason why your joints could feel stiffer & achier in the cold months is lack of movements or activity. We all have been guilty of being tempted to snuggle up under that warm, comfy blanket when its cold and our activity levels tend to drop significantly during the cold months. As a result, your joints now feel even more stiff & hurt even more.

Couple this with a heavy snow storm followed by shoveling snow or doing some yard work, you are really putting those stiff spinal joints through a lot of stress & that is a recipe for some back pain or sciatica episodes. Your joints haven’t been warmed up enough for such a stressful bout of movement. Be on the lookout for our blog/video on Good Snow Shoveling mechanics this coming winter season!

Now here are some of our easy to follow tips to help ease this winter aches & pains:

1. Motion is Lotion

Now the most helpful tip to combat this cold weather stiffness is to go through some of your movements & exercises especially in the mornings as you get the blood flowing through your joints & get them “warmed up” for the day. Nothing beats the stiffness better than a morning exercise routine.

2. Use a Moist Heat Pack or Take a Hot Water Shower

Moist Heat could provide some temporary relief from joint stiffness as it helps the blood flowing too but remember to combine it with movements also.

3. Move Frequently during the day

Scheduling 2-3 short bursts of movement periods during the day are far more effective especially for the cold winter months. It could be your walking, running or playing some indoor sports. The more you keep active, lesser the cold weather will take a toll on your joints & body.

While these are some great helpful tips to get you moving, but if you suffer from back, hip or shoulder aches & pains that tend to get worse in the cold winter months & you are ready to get to the source of the problem & not just manage the symptoms, you could come in for a Free Discovery Session at Our practice in Reston, VA! All you have to do is fill out a short form here & we will get in touch with you. Discovery Sessions are great for people who want to talk with a specialist about what might be causing their problem, and we’ll help you figure out what the next best steps are. Our goal is to give you all the information you need so that you can make the best decision for your health – without any obligation or commitment.

We also know not everyone is ready to commit to regular physical therapy appointments, and that’s why we offer our Free Information Guide! This Guide is for people in our community who want really valuable, expert information about their Back Pain or Sciatica problems. We know it’s confusing out there with all of the information floating around on Google and Facebook, and this is a valuable first step towards getting some real answers for your problem.

PS – If you found this information helpful, please share this with a friend or on your Facebook feed.

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