Weather and Back Pain

Weather and Back Pain

Weather and Back Pain

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Winter is just around the corner,  and the cold weather is definitely here.  My patients all complain that they have more pain with the cooler temperatures.  While everyone believes cold weather,  and stormy weather contributes to worsening arthritis pain,  the scientific data can be conflicting at times.

In relationship to work activities,  some population studies have shown an increased incidence of neck and back complaints in cooler weather.

Other studies have not seen an increase risk of back pain with weather changes.

I do know what my patients say.

1. Cold weather makes their back and neck pain worse

2. Increased humidity also increases the pain.

3. Barometric changes  associated with worsening weather is also associated with the increasing pains.

 

For those patients effected by the above changes,  it is likely the neck and back pain complaints are secondary to arthritis.  Researchers are exploring the possibility that weather change complaints may also have a cultural,  and therefore a psychological effect.  The other possibility is that certain genetically similar populations may have susceptibility to weather related pain parameter changes while others do not.

To give an example,  scientists have seen a trend that certain families will have more back pain and disability than others.  After  reviewing many data sets,  it was determined that there is a family or hereditary component to the development of back pain.    It has also been suggested that some of the disability identified in certain family’s are of a pattern consistent with a learned behavior.      If this analogy is then compared to back pain and weather,  there may be some cultural reasons why some complain of more back pain with the weather changes.

 

Regardless of the science of weather and back pain,  for those who have back pain,  please make sure to stretch, exercise,  and modify  activities. Thank goodness most episodes of back pain is temporary.  If there is worsening pain,  or if there  is associated numbness,  weakness,  or severe incapacitating pain,  please contact your physician immediately.

Citations

  • Kim EJ, Choi YD, Lim CY, Kim KH, Lee SD. Effect of heating and cooling combination therapy on patients with chronic low back pain: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Jun 26;16:285. PubMed PMID: 26112148

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

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

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

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2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

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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

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

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

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

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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