Do Cold Temperatures increase Back Pain?

Do Cold Temperatures increase Back Pain?

Do Cold Temperatures increase Back Pain?

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Cold Temperatures are associated with more back pain.   While most of us believe that,  there is some scientific data that suggests the statement is true.  The Northeast has experienced a record cold winter,  and I am sure many are tired of the effects of Old Man Winter.  Unfortunately,  the cold is associated with increased musculoskeletal complaints,  and it may be more than the increase physical activities associated with dealing with the winter snow.

A 2013 Article from Sweden retrospectively looked at about 100k worker profiles from the 1970’s.  It stratified the population interms of manual construction workers,  versus foreman and office workers.  It also stratified the location of the workers in terms of province locations from the north, to the warmer south.  The study concluded that “Outdoor work in a cold environment may increase the risk of low back and neck pain.”

A February 2014 Study from Finland made a fascinating correlation of warmer weather inhabitants have a higher temperature threshold before reporting a  musculoskeletal pain complaint.  In other words,  people who lived in warmer temperatures were more likely to complain of pain with a smaller degree of temperature change than the more hardy colder temperature dwellers.    This seems to follow the stereotype of the more stoic,  robust cold weather inhabitants.  Still,  the data did show that overall colder temperatures were associated with more musculoskeletal complaints,  including spine pain.

Frankly,  this data should be a great talking point to Southern Locations during these Winter months.  “Come to the warmth,  and relieve your back pains”.  There is scientific data to support that statement!

Citations

  • Burström L, Järvholm B, Nilsson T, Wahlström J. Back and neck pain due to working in a cold environment: a cross-sectional study of male construction workers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2013 Oct;86(7):809-13. PubMed PMID: 23001633

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Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

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February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

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October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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