Cooler fall temperatures trigger more than our need for tasty pumpkin coffee and Halloween treats. Changes in barometric pressure can also trigger pain — and this can mean serious discomfort for sufferers of sciatica.
Sciatica is a condition that causes nerve compression in the lumbar, or lower, part of the back, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling. As the temperatures drop, muscles in the back can get tight and stiff, aggravating the nerves further, triggering more intense pain in lower back, legs, feet or buttocks.
Other things working against your back pain as the weather continues to get chilly?
- Cold weather tends to keep us inside, which can mean being less active. This is a recipe for chronic pain, as exercise helps keep muscles loose and lubricated. Exercise also helps keep our weight in check – maintaining a healthy weight is key to effective pain management. Opt for low-impact, indoor workouts to help manage your back pain. (If you’ve recently undergone treatment for a back injury or condition, check with your Ortho Sport & Spine back physician before beginning a workout routine).
- Late fall and winter months can trigger seasonal affective disorder and depression — two metal health conditions that have been linked to increases in chronic pain. If you’re living with either of these conditions, talk to a counselor or specialist about effective coping strategies. Taking care of our mental health helps keep physical pain at bay.
Other ways to help combat cold weather back aches include dressing in warm layers, soaking in warm baths with Epsom salt, utilizing hot and cold therapy such as heating pads and ice packs, and keeping limber with daily hamstring stretches (tight hamstrings contribute to painful back aches).
To learn more about managing your back pain, contact the specialists at Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians. We offer a wide range of treatment programs and minimally-invasive techniques to help you get back to doing the things you love, pain-free.
Schedule your consultation with us today.
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