How Cold Weather Affects Back Pain: Pt. 2 | Total Performance Physical Therapy

How Cold Weather Affects Back Pain: Pt. 2

December 4, 2019

In the first part of this blog, we went over some studies that suggested a link between cold weather and back pain. If you require physical therapy for back pain in Doylestown, contact Total Performance Physical Therapy today! That being said, let’s dive into some contributing factors and what you can do to help prevent back pain this winter. 

Cabin Fever and Cold, Dark Days Can Contribute to Depression

Seasonal depression can cause or aggravate back pain. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that typically occurs yearly, starting in the fall and lasting through the winter months. Decreased sunshine throws off your body’s circadian rhythm and can lead to a drop in serotonin levels. Whatever the cause of anyone’s season depression may be, back pain is a somewhat common occurrence in people who experience seasonal affective disorder. 

Some studies have suggested that depression leads to increased levels of inflammation through proteins known as cytokines. Cytokines are cell-signaling molecules that stimulate the movement of healing cells toward infection and inflammation. However, excessive amounts of cytokines can lead to inflammatory diseases, which is one of the most common causes of back pain and depression.

Seasonal depression may cause fatigue, increased perception of pain, and decreased interest levels in regular activities that prevent people from exercising and strengthening the muscles that support the spine.

Winter Conditions Can Discourage Exercise

Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or biking are some of the best ways to prevent back pain. However, when the winter months hit, it can be too cold or dangerous to go out for a walk or a bike ride consistently. Many people take a hiatus from exercise until the weather starts warming up again.

Avoid Back Pain During the Cold Weather

Make an effort to keep yourself warm at all times. This includes layering up when going outdoors and keep the heat turned up inside your home or using an electric blanket to prevent your muscles from tightening during the cold nighttime hours.

Don’t neglect exercise. There are plenty of activities to partake in, including swimming indoors, walking, and indoor aerobic exercise.

For more information about our physical therapy near Chalfont, contact us today. Additionally, if you live in Bucks or Montgomery County and are suffering from back pain or sciatica, come to our free back pain and sciatica workshop. Click here for details!