When the weather begins to change and that cold feeling starts to creep into the bones, especially down the back. That’s when sciatica symptoms can flare-up in the worst way.
Cold weather really make sciatica worse
Of the many patients that I’ve treated, those with sciatica firmly state that cold weather makes it worse.
There are bonafide reasons why sciatica acts up when the temperature goes down.
It is a type of radiculopathy, caused by pressure on one or more of the five nerve roots in the lower back;
This is known as the lumbar region of the spine.
The nerves run from the lower spine under buttocks and down each hip into the legs.
Several conditions can compress these nerves at one or more spots along the way:
- Weakness in the
- Lower back
- Legs on one or both sides
Cold weather affects sciatica because it affects different types of pain.
Researchers found that the men who worked in low temperatures reported higher cases of neck and low back pain.
This was compared with those working in warmer temperatures.
Cold Weather & the Spine
Pain and discomfort can increase because the muscles stiffen up in cold weather.
The spine’s muscles also become tight and tense.
Tension and stress, can make the pain worse and increase the risk of muscle strains/sprains.
Air pressure drops before a storm or when the temperature changes.
These changes seep into the sensitive nerves of the lower back and cause swelling/inflammation and pain.
Any type of movement can wreak havoc on a healthy spine.
This is due to the cold weather causing individuals not to:
- Use correct posture
- Use correct movement when performing tasks/chores
- Hurrying tasks/chores
There is also the chance of a slip and fall accident or twisting your back.
All of this is the perfect set-up for spine and sciatic injury/s.
So How to reduce sciatic pain?
- Wear warm clothing and in layers.
- A few thin layers can keep the body warmer than a single thick layer.
- Keep the lower back warm
- Tuck your shirt into your pants to make sure that your back doesn’t get a cold draft when you reach for something and then put a sweater on over that.
- A couple of blankets or an electric blanket on your bed can help keep your muscles from tightening.
- Keep home as warm as possible.
- Run the car a few minutes to preheat it before heading out.
Wear Proper Shoes or Boots
- Proper footwear should have enough tread to prevent slips and falls.
- Proper shoes for walking in cold weather. Don’t do the flip-flop thing, that’s just asking for foot/back problems.
- Orthotics can help with posture, pronation, and gait.
Warm-Up Before Starting Outdoor Activity
Stretch and loosen the muscles and joints before you go out to:
- Trim the lawn/bushes
- Take a walk
- Play with the kids
Take a few minutes to stretch and warm up inside before going outside.
Do It Right
As previously mentioned use correct form, meaning, lift with your legs, not the back.
- Move smaller amounts if landscaping etc., Do it in small increments instead of one or two heavy loads.
- Don’t twist your back while lifting.
- Face the direction you are going in.
Ask for Help
If sciatica is affecting the task at hand, do not be too proud or afraid to ask for help. Stubbornness can lead to severe injury/s that could have been avoided.
When cold weather starts to make itself known, most of us want to get on the couch, binge watch our favorite movies, sleep, get snuggly, etc.
- Exercising and staying in shape is a top remedy for sciatica symptoms.
- Consult with a chiropractor, physical therapist/trainer that can offer exercises that won’t present/exacerbate symptoms
- Watch your weight when the cold weather kicks in and keep up with your exercise.
El Paso, TX Chiropractor Sciatica Symptoms
Sandra Rubio discusses sciatica, its causes, and its symptoms. Sciatica is the collection of symptoms caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the human body which extends from the lower back to the feet. Sandra Rubio describes how she’s witnessed many patients come into Dr. Alex Jimenez’s office feeling painful and often severe symptoms of sciatica caused by a variety of spinal health issues. Fortunately, Dr. Jimenez is the non-surgical choice for the safe and effective treatment of sciatica symptoms.
Based upon how it’s defined, approximately 2 percent to 40 percent of individuals will experience sciatica symptoms at some point in their lifetime. It is most frequent during people’s ’40s and ’50s, and men are more frequently affected than women. About 90 percent of the time, sciatica symptoms are because of a disc herniation. Other issues that may bring about sciatica comprise of spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, pelvic tumors, and compression by a baby’s head during pregnancy, among other spinal health issues.
Chiropractic care is a popular, alternative treatment option commonly utilized to help treat symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica is characterized as a collection of symptoms, rather than a single injury or condition. A chiropractor can help diagnose the source of a patient’s sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, in order to properly determine the best treatment for their specific health issue.
Spinal adjustments and manual manipulations can be utilized to help carefully correct the alignment of the spine, restoring the natural integrity of the spine and allowing the body to heal itself, without the need for drugs and medications or surgery. In certain individuals, sciatica may fix itself, possibly happening just once or a few times throughout their lifetime. But, it’s important to remember that if an injury and/or aggravated condition is not treated effectively, symptoms may worsen.