Winter Lower Back Pain: What to Do to Get Relief

Lower back pain (lumbago) is a severe affliction that impacts your mental and physical health. It occurs due to many causes like injury, poor posture, aging, or a condition affecting millions worldwide. Recent studies show that over 72.3 million Americans suffer lumbar pain at some point in life.

One of the factors that worsen lumbago is cold weather. Colder seasons have lower temperatures that may drop to extreme levels. These temperatures cause your spinal muscles, ligaments, and tendons to tighten. This strains your spine and stretches sensitive nerve roots in your lumbar region, resulting in pain.

If you struggle with lower back pain, below are valuable tips for avoiding painful symptoms during colder seasons. You’ll also learn how PT prevents low backache.

Ways to Manage Lumbago During Colder Months

Cold temperatures are tough for people struggling with backache as they worsen pain symptoms. Here are a few tips on how to get relief and overcome the chill brought on by colder months:

Dress Properly

Colder weather makes the nerves in the spine more sensitive, causing your back to ache. To avoid this, wear several layers of warm clothes. They keep you warm, easing the strain on your spinal muscles, tendons, and nerves. It also becomes easier to cope with icy and cold conditions without flare-ups.

Warm Up Your Muscles

Exercises are a great way to warm your spinal muscles and alleviate stiffness. They improve mobility and circulation to benefit spinal discs and prevent lower lumbago symptoms. Some of the exercises to try include:

  • Dynamic stretching
  • Arm circles
  • Butt kicks
  • Frankensteins
  • Marches

Take Care of Yourself When Snow Shoveling 

Snow shoveling is an activity many homeowners engage in every cold season to keep ice off their property. It’s strenuous, especially if you struggle with lower back pain. If you intend to snow shovel, consider taking the following precautions to prevent lumbar pain flare-ups:

  • Use an ergonomic shovel with an adjustable or curved handle for comfort
  • Take frequent breaks if the snow shoveling task is hefty to avoid straining your back
  • Keep a steady pace to prevent injury
  • Bend your knees and hips rather than your lower back to avert injury
  • Watch out for slippery surfaces to avoid slips and falls
  • Lift smaller snow amounts or push it, if possible, to prevent lumbar strain

Put on Boots or Shoes with Excellent Traction

During snowy conditions, the friction on the ice causes a thin layer of water to form on surfaces. The surfaces get wet, slick, and slippery, so you should wear boots or shoes with excellent traction. Such footwear offers superb grip on slippery walking surfaces to prevent slips and falls that may flare up your pain symptoms.

Avoid using your devices and other distractions so you can pay attention to where you walk. Walk slowly when using trees, railings, or fences for support or making your way up or down a hill. These measures help avoid slips or falls to prevent lumber pain from worsening.

PT for Lower Back Pain Relief

Physical therapy (PT) is one of the most effective treatments for pain relief. It involves using guided therapeutic exercises to treat or prevent pain symptoms from flaring up by:

  • Strengthening lower back muscles
  • Aligning spinal joints and tissues to ease arthritis
  • Improving the spine’s flexibility or range of motion (ROM)
  • Core-strengthening spinal and buttock muscles
  • Maintaining proper posture to avoid straining your back
  • Improving balance when performing various tasks
  • Maintaining a healthy heart helps heal spinal muscles

Request an Appointment Today

The best way to manage or avoid lower back pain during colder months is to keep yourself active, warm, limber, and healthy. Handle your body cautiously when snow shoveling or walking outdoors to reduce backache symptoms.

If your winter lower back pain doesn’t disappear, it’s time to reach out to our talented doctors at Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehab. We are a reputable, outpatient-based private physical therapy company. Our doctors deliver effective treatments for all orthopedic-related conditions to ease your pain so you can revive your life. Contact us at 570-208-2787 or email today to request an appointment.