Back Pain and Winter
Generally speaking, the two don’t go hand-in-hand. Your back pain is difficult to live with enough without adding the frigid cold temperatures of winter to it. Slipping on ice or trudging through heavy snow only adds to the discomfort. Yet, Michigan’s winter, or any snowbelt state, isn’t always the culprit in wreaking havoc on your joints, spine, or neck.

Even if you live, or vacation, in the warmer states there’s a good chance that you will experience increased back pain when the thermometer dips. In fact, no matter where you live, when the temperatures drop you’ll feel the pain and/or discomfort increase.

Colder temperatures can increase pain

When you’re cold your muscles, tendons and ligaments in your back will tighten and become less flexible, thereby making them much more prone to injuries that in turn can cause you plenty of back pain. So it’s important during the winter months to wear the right clothing to keep you warm. You should also stretch your muscles regularly, stay active and employ basic falling prevention techniques when needed. Speaking of activity, the colder, gloomier days of winter can discourage you from keeping up with your necessary exercises. Avoiding exercise is one of the worst things you can do for your aching back in the winter. If you can’t be outdoors, try exercises indoors such as yoga and aerobics, swimming in an indoor heated pool, or perhaps working out on a stationary bicycle. Warmth is the key.

Additional help

You’re less likely to get enough vitamin D from its natural source, sunlight, in the winter, so talk to your doctor about your need for supplements or vitamin D-fortified foods. Ahhh…how about treating yourself to a massage? Getting an hour-long massage once a week for at least eight weeks was shown to reduce pain, according to research in the June 2015 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Acupuncture is another option for those willing to consider non-traditional treatments. Omega-3 fatty acids do have some benefit because they seem to reduce the level of inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation recommends up to 2.6 grams of fish oil capsules twice a day. Make sure to let your doctor know if you try omega-3s, as they can increase the risk for bruising or bleeding.

Contact Michigan Pain Consultants Today

Talk with the professionals at Michigan Pain Consultants today about beating back your back, neck, or joint pain this winter. We can help you with various exercise, dietary, and other wellness programs to fit your lifestyle.

Make an appointment for a new patient consultation with one of our board certified pain physicians. All of Michigan Pain Consultant’s physicians are Board Certified in Anesthesiology or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and have advanced training and experience in Pain Medicine. You can begin first by visiting online at,, or by calling them at (800)281-3237.

With six locations throughout West Michigan, Michigan Pain Consultants comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to pain care offers patients and providers renewed hope for relief from chronic pain. Chronic pain should be treated like other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure. Chronic pain requires chronic treatment. The goal of the treatment is to optimize the management of the pain, as opposed to curing the pain.