Why lower back pain gets worse in winter months

Now we’re well and truly moving into the cold and dark winter, lets talk about back pain … something that comes around unexpectedly this time of year.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Even 10 minutes of physical exercise, such as going for a walk, is good for you.
Even 10 minutes of physical exercise, such as going for a walk, is good for you.

If you’re in your 50s or 60s, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced a few aches in your lower back when the temperature begins to drop. They can be nagging and painful on a daily basis, as such happened to one of our patients.

Jean has suffered with an aching lower back for a few months now and last winter her back got so bad, that it stopped her from taking her three dogs out for a long walk on Christmas day, something Jean does each year with her family before sitting down for Christmas dinner.

And because Jean didn’t want her lower back pain to get in the way of her family tradition this year, she thought she’d book an appointment with her doctor.

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The GP advised Jean that her lower back was very tight and sent her straight to Phys. But the thing is with the NHS, all they did was give Jean a few exercises and no hands on treatment, so she never understood what was REALLY going on, and why her back pain was getting so bad.

So as well as doing exercises that weren’t even making a difference, Jean also went out and brought a new mattress hoping that would fix the problem and has been dosing up on painkillers for days. But the problem is all they do is mask the pain, not take it away!

So, if you’re like Jean and you’re struggling to put your finger on as to why your lower back-pain gets worse this time of year, I can assure you, you’re not alone. In fact this is something that many men and women aged 50+ come to see us with at the clinic.

So what’s one of the reasons why your back pain gets worse around this time if year?

The long winter months and sustained periods of inactivity can be the root cause of what I call sudden ‘lifelong back pain’. You see, if your muscles and joints get a long rest in the winter, there’s a chance they will grow weak and stiff by the time spring comes around when you feel like being more active.

And if you’ve not been as active as you were during the spring and summer time when it’s colder, then this could risk your back pain getting even worse!

So, with that in mind here’s a big tip to help you avoid making this mistake: seize any and every opportunity you have during the winter to get active and keep your body mobile and vital muscles strong. Then if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to avoid wasting time at the doctor’s office and being given exercises that just don’t work.

For more quick tips on ways to ease back pain like this visit my website, where you can download our free back pain report: http://www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain