A tilt of the axis comes with the shift of seasons. The temperature drops between the months of November to February and India welcomes the winter season.
As the winter returns, so does your body pain. Especially, your back pain which aggravates and becomes worst during winters.
Different regions of India experiences different extents of winter season due to varied geographical terrains. Ranging from ice-cold snowfall in the northernmost part of India to cold breezy nights of the south, freezing temperature drops of the deserts to the moderate temperatures of the east.
The rising coldness sometimes makes its very difficult with unbearable pain in your back targeting your lower areas. Your past accidental injuries, tear in the muscles, sprain, joint pains makes a come back making it more worst for you.
As the temperature drops, the sensitive nerves in the muscles tend to shrink restricting the blood flow. The surrounding areas in the muscles intensify which sends pain signals to the brain.
The beautiful cold mornings can soon turn into a nightmare when you wake up with back pain. It can slow down your activities; ruin your day as well as mood.
Therefore, it is very necessary to take care of your body especially during winters.
Winters Bring Pain Pack
Winters bring many changes in the health condition of human beings. The low temperature acts as the stressors for the body. The body needs to adjust to the stressors in order to function properly. The moment our body is unable to handle the stressors and it falls down.
The cold season also increases the inflammation of the joints which usually leads to arthritis. Extreme cold weather also puts a strain on the heart as it is required to pump more blood in order to keep the body warm. This makes the individual prone to heart attacks sometimes.
The muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support the spine also get tightened as soon as the temperature drops. This can put a strain on your spine and pull on the sensitive nerve roots in the spine causing pain.
Thus, our bodies require extreme care during winters in order to function properly and efficiently.
What are the Causes of Back Pain in Winters?
We all have experienced this on one or the other chilly winter morning. As soon as you try to get up of the bed, your body is stiff and your back muscles are tight which is painful and irritating. The reason for your back pain is definitely the cold weather.
As the temperature lowers down, there is a process called vasoconstriction which occurs within the body. It is basically narrowing down the blood vessels in the extremities and diverting the extra blood towards the vital organs of the body such as the heart, lungs, brain, and bowels to keep the body warm. When the muscles, tendons, and ligaments don’t get enough blood supply they become stiff and tight.
It is the same thing that happens with the spine. Less blood supply to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons attached to the spine makes it tight which in turn pulls on the sensitive nerve ending of the spine.
This pulling off the nerve endings is the main cause of back pain.
Adding on to this, during winters we tend to eat more and exercise less. This easily leads to an increase in our body weight. The extra weight leads to the extra pressure on our lower back region causing the stretching of muscles, which in turn pulls the sensitive nerve endings. This, in turn, causes lower back pain.
In winters we tend to drink less water, as we don’t feel thirsty often. Dehydration can also cause disc narrowing and back pain. When the discs in our body are dehydrated they cannot share the load and tend to force it through other structures, which causes pain.
Treat Your Back Pain in Winters Before it Gets Worst
Back pain is one of the most irritable pain in the body which can slow you down, decrease your productivity and ruin your mood for the day. But there are possible ways to deal with it. With proper care, this winter season you can wake up without being grumpy about the pain you used to experience in your back every morning.
Heat therapy offers quick relief in back pain. It is also one of the most inexpensive ways to get rid of the pain. Care should be take of that the heat is not too much, which can be detrimental.
- Hot showers, hot towels or moist heating packs kept on the affected area of the spine for 30 minutes can be a quick relief for the pain
- Heat therapy re-stimulates the blood circulation in the muscle which helps it to loosen up again and reduce the pain.
A Gentle Massage
A gentle massage can be beneficial in this case too. It can help reduce the inflammation of the muscles, re-stimulate the blood circulation and relax the tightened muscles.
- A self massage session also vividly known as Abhyanga before your bath can really prove beneficial
- Use oil with medicinal benefits like the coconut, argan, sesame, mustard to massage your lower back, muscles and joints. The oil will act as lubricant and will warm-up the cold areas reliving you from the muscle fatigue, muscular pain & prevent sports injuries.
Drinking More Water
Drinking more water will keep the cartilages soft and will keep it hydrated. Among the less- known benefits of drinking more water is that it maintains
- An adequate blood volume which allows the nutrients to flow through the blood and the joints.
- Drinking more water can help prevent dehydration of muscles in your back.
- When you exercise or stretch, the forward and backward movement in your spine will help keep the discs rehydrated
- This is also ensure there’s enough fluid that helps protect and provide cushioning in the spinal region
- Water also helps prevent developing lactic acid formation near the muscular region, which is a major cause of muscles inflammation
Regular exercise can relax the tightened muscles or ligaments. Too much pressure can also cause the pain to increase even more
- Light exercises can stretch and make the muscles flexible and prevent them from becoming stiff
- If it’s too chilly outside, try spot exercise like skipping, jumping or low level aerobic exercises to warm up your muscles
- Stretch using resistance band that works on your core muscles. Make sure to do it in controlled form to avoid injuries
Wrong Mattress Can Worsen Your Back Pain During Winters
Your bad sleeping habits can add more fuel to your increasing back pain during winters. If you struggling with back pain, sleeping in the wrong posture will aggravate your back pain. When you wake up with body aches or soreness, it is a sign there is something wrong in your sleeping position. It is important to indentify if you sleep on your back, stomach or side.
A wrong sleeping posture will:
- Aggravate your muscular pain
- Irregular spine alignment leading to back pain
- Can cause muscle numbness & nerve pain.
The only way to ensure you are sleeping correctly is figuring out your discomfort and sleep on the right kind of mattress. With advance technology, old cotton and foam mattress are replaced by memory foam, Hybrid mattress, Gel–infused mattress and smart grid technology mattress.
Sleeping on a mattress that is right for you will ensure:
- It does not add more pressure on your heart, lungs, shoulders, back, knees leading to soreness
- Aligns your spine in neutral position
- Supports the pressure point areas like the neck, shoulder, back, hips, knees
- You wake up fresh with not body aches
Basis your body type, sleeping position and personal preference select the appropriate mattress that best suits you. If you are still confused on how to select the right mattress for you, educate yourself before buying the right mattress.
Types of Mattresses or Pillows that Will Ease Back Pain
Back pain is like a nightmare to millions of people nationwide. Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed can even make it worse. Therefore, here is a list of types of mattresses that can be used to comfort your aching spine.
Memory foam mattresses:
These mattresses have an equal share of soft and firm areas. Which helps relieve the pressure. The sides are usually semi-soft, which is best for the side sleepers. The mattress is designed to provide adequate support to your back and straighten your spine while you sleep at night.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattresses
The layered gel-infused memory foam for pressure point provides relief and adequate support targeting back pain. The mattress comes with a combination of gel memory foam and responsive pocket coils for better support.
Hyper-Elastic Polymer Mattresses
This has the dynamic flexing properties so that your back can remain fully stabilised while the key pressure areas such as the hips and shoulders can sink in where they need to. It promotes proper spinal alignment and reduces pain.
Memory Foam Pillows
A right pillow is the most ignorant thing while we sleep. The option is a memory foam pillow. These are soft and provide the right amount of support and alignment to the head, neck, shoulders, and back while you rest.
The winters have approached and its time you take care of you health. The lowering temperature hits you this season, and you need to prepare yourself for it. Taking a little bit of extra care can help in the prevention of acute back pain during the winters before it gets worst.