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Published on January 17, 2018

Preventing Back and Neck Pain this Winter

Back PainAcute back or neck pain can be caused by a variety of things, but falling due to winter weather is a common cause this time of year. If you are experiencing back or neck pain that doesn’t go away, it’s a good idea to make an appoint with your primary care physician or an orthopedic specialist. Some symptoms that you should pay attention to and make note of to talk to your physician about include:

  • Check for neuro deficiencies – If your back is hurting, is the pain radiating down your leg? If it’s your neck, does the pain radiate down your arm? These could be a sign of a more serious issue.
  • Heart disease – If you have a history of heart disease and you were engaging in strenuous activity, pain in your arm could be a sign of a heart attack and you should seek help immediately.

If the pain is mild, try to rest and recuperate at home first by following this plan:

  • One day of bed rest
  • Take anti-inflammatories
  • Ice regularly – 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off

As the area starts to feel better, you can progress to a stretching and exercise plan. If you aren’t sure where to begin, a local physical therapist can help you develop one specifically for your needs. Eventually, you’ll want to develop an exercise plan because conditioning and strength will help you avoid injury in the future.

Proper body mechanics plays a huge role in preventing back or neck injury and pain:

  • Lift items straight up and avoid twisting as you stand up
  • Bend at the knee, not with your back
  • Hold items close to the body
  • Know your limits. If you need to strain to do it, you are more likely to hurt yourself.

If you do experience back or neck pain that persists for longer than two weeks or gets progressively worse, it’s time to visit an orthopedic specialist.

About Our Expert

Dr. Dahari Brooks is an orthopedic surgeon at Greensboro Orthopaedics.