Man Shoveling Snow With Aching Back

 

3 Simple Ways To Overcome Winter Back Pain

Back pain has a higher probability of arising in the colder months.

Do you have recent sudden back pain after shovelling snow or simply just being out in the cold for long periods?

If this describes you, you’re not alone.

If this is left unchecked, there’s a chance that you can develop chronic pain. In fact, once you get back pain, there’s a high chance that it will happen again.

However, there are 3 simple things that you can do that will go a long way in helping to prevent this from happening.

Short period of rest and then start moving:

Take a break from regular physical activity for the first few days so your symptoms can begin to decrease.  After a few days off, begin your usual activities but avoid heavy lifting and twisting for at least 4-6 weeks.

When we talk about rest, we’re not asking you to lie in bed all day. That’s the WORST thing that you can do.

Rest means avoiding any physical activities that are similar to what caused your pain.

However, it’s important to start moving as soon as you can.

It’s as easy as getting up and walking back and forth in your house a few times. By doing this every hour or two, you’re keeping your body active enough, but not doing things that may have caused the pain in the first place (like lifting or twisting). 

Apply the 3 step process of ice-heat-stretch

After an injury, make sure you apply ice right away. Do this several times a day in the first 2 to 3 days. You can gradually build up to applying heat after that.

Again, it depends on each person. If you are someone that feels better with heat, you can start using that instead. There is no ‘proof’ that one is better than the other.

As soon as you are able, begin stretching your back 2 to 3 times a day.

When you stretch, make sure that it’s not painful. If you feel any pain, you are over doing it.

Adjust Your Sleeping Position

Did you know that sleep is one of the first things that gets affected when you get back pain?

This can lead to more irritability and fatigue during the day. It’s been shown that lack of sleep can increase your reaction to pain.

That’s why sleeping is very important in the beginning.

If you are a side sleeper, sleep in the fetal position, with a pillow between your legs.  Back sleepers should tuck a pillow or a rolled up towel under their knees.  This will help to relieve pressure on the back.

By following these 3 simple steps in the beginning, you’ll increase your chances of overcoming sudden winter back pain.

However, each person is different in how they best respond to these.

The type of stretch that may be the best for you may actually cause harm to someone else.

Knowing the right strengthening exercises for your specific pain can save you years of pain.

At Queen West Physiotherapy & Acupuncture, we customize the treatment based on your unique situation. No two treatment plans are the same.

If you find that your back pain doesn’t seem to get better, or you’re looking for a permanent solution, call us today to book a consultation.

We wish you a pain free winter!