Back pain is one of the most common spinal conditions in the UAE and third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office. Severe cases can lead to spinal degenerative disease, also known as degenerative disk disease, or any disease of the spinal column, which can range from Herniated Disc, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerated Disc Disease, and Disc Prolapse.
It might be a sharp stab or a dull ache. At some point, 8 out of 10 of us will have back pain. In fact, most people also associate that the colder the weather, the more discomfort occurs in one’s back muscles and joints. Dr.Khaled M Faraj, Sr. Consultant Orthopedic and Spine Surgeon, Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery Dubai identifies some of the myths and facts about Back Pain in cold weather.
Cold weather makes back pain worse
This is not true as there is no scientific evidence that supports this idea. Cold Temperatures do not make an actual condition worse, and it also does not develop a new condition. It means there could be muscle stiffness as the tendons and ligaments in your back tighten and become less flexible, thereby making them much more prone to injuries that in turn can cause you plenty of back pain. Winter back problems may be avoidable when you wear the right clothing to keep you warm, stretch your muscles regularly, stay active and employ basic fall prevention techniques when needed.
Dark and gloomy days in winter may contribute to depression which in turn can cause or aggravate chronic back pain.
Cold temperatures, dark gloomy days and less hours of sunlight stresses can cause a seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of seasonal depression that can increase one’s sensitivity to back pain. Therefore, during winter, depression can also lead to back pain as body aches and backaches are a common symptom of depression, and research has shown that people with severe depression actually feel pain more intensely than others.
Moreover, depression itself can cause the kind of fatigue that prevents you from exercising and strengthening your core muscles, which in turn puts added stresses on the disks, joints and ligaments in your back, making you more susceptible to low back pain, muscle strains and other injuries.
Exercise can lead to further back pain
Quite the contrary as exercise is extremely important to alleviate back pain. If you don’t stretch or exercise your back a few times a week, it will lose the strength necessary to provide a straight posture and pain-free movement in the body. Exercise is the best way to help with your sciatica. In fact,Cold weather may discourage you from exercising, which can be a formula for back pain. Try indoor exercises such as yoga and aerobics, swimming in a temperature controlled warm pool, or perhaps working out on a stationary bicycle. You’ll be surprised at how much more energy and less pain you have just by staying active throughout the winter.