Winters in Cleveland are no joke! Lake effect, snow squalls, slush, icy conditions, school closings and the blizzard of 1978; these are terms all Clevelanders are familiar with. What Clevelanders do is complain but they get through it! From December through March, sometimes April, we suffer through and hang on for the worst of snowfalls – we deal with it! How well we deal with it depends on each individual. More adults are diagnosed with low back pain in Northeast Ohio than most cities during these trying winter months. Low back pain in the winter months is caused by shoveling and lifting. There is an art to shoveling snow but most of us are unaware. Shoveling snow incorrectly causes the riveting back pain that we experience during this time; often we never recover from the pain.
Some of the symptoms of back pain can include:
- Persistent aching or stiffness anywhere along your spine, from the base of the neck to the tail bone
- Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back -- especially after lifting heavy objects or engaging in other strenuous activity. (Pain in the upper back can also be a sign of a heart attack or other life-threatening conditions.)
- Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods
- Back pain that radiates from the low back to the buttock, down the back of the thigh, and into the calf and toes
- Inability to stand straight without having severe muscle spasms in the low back. www.webmd.com
Low back pain facts
- Functions of the low back, or lumbar area, include structural support, movement, and protection of certain body tissues.
- Pain in the low back can relate to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
- Treatment of low back pain is optimally directed toward a diagnosed or suspected specific cause. For acute lumbar strain, use of a home remedy initially can be beneficial. www.medicinenet.com
Some preventative measures you can take are practice correct posturing. Stand against the wall, make sure your spine is aligned with the wall, chin tucked in; maintain normal weight; refrain from smoking; and exercise regularly. If you already suffer from back pain, see your physician who may refer you to physical therapy.