Chances are you know someone, or perhaps you are someone who claims to be able to predict the weather by merely gauging pain symptoms. The evidence to support this ability is inconclusive at best. But this is a case where many people say they do not care what the science says; they wholeheartedly believe it to be so.
Possible Causes and Theories for Cold Weather Causing Back Pain
Barometric pressure occurs when air pressure drops before a storm or when the temperature changes drastically. According to brainspinesurgery.com, the most popular theory suggests that when the barometric pressure drops before a storm or the temperature changes drastically, there is less gravity to prevent additional swelling in joints that might already be inflamed from previous surgery, injury or condition. As the swelling increases, the nerves surrounding the joint will register this change and report increased amounts of pain.
To date, there is no conclusive evidence to support this theory. However, many people reject scientific findings. The next point offers a possible reason why.
Interestingly, there are existing studies that support the idea that bones and joints weakened in some way have an increased sensitivity to changes in barometric pressure. Conditions such as age, osteoporosis, or injury would fall under this category.
Vasoconstriction – Stiffening of Muscles, Tendons, and Ligaments
Vasoconstriction is defined as the process of narrowing the blood vessels in your extremities and diverting that extra blood to vital areas like the brain, heart, lungs, and bowels to keep them warm, causing muscles, tendons, and ligaments to have less blood and, therefore, grow stiff. It is believed by some, but never proven, that it is this stiffening that causes the pain caused by cold exposure.
According to brainspinesurgery.com, seasonal depression can cause fatigue, increased perception of pain, and decreased interest levels in daily activities. These symptoms can prevent people from exercising and strengthening the muscles that support the spine, which can cause back pain.
Changes in Exercise Regimen
As with seasonal depression, inclement weather and shorter daylight hours cause many people to decrease the amount of exercise they get during the colder months. The muscles that support the spine then weaken and can cause back pain.
The fact that so many people believe so fiercely and that the perception has been evident in cultures thousands of years old, dating back to Hippocrates as corroborated by medicalnewstoday.com, suggests that more research could be justified.
There is a recent study, whimsically named “Cloudy With a Chance of Pain,” that found days with higher humidity, lower pressure, and stronger winds are more likely associated with high pain days. Seemingly this goes a long way to validate the folklore and suggests some of the above-listed theories may warrant further investigation.
What To Do If You Experience Cold-Related Pain
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness Can Help
Dr. Goldman and his staff can help alleviate back pain caused or aggravated by the cold. You will receive a comprehensive evaluation and a treatment plan that incorporates pain management services as well as general lifestyle recommendations to help you live the best life you can, as pain-free as possible. Contact us today.