Springtime Aches and Pains

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Spring is in the air! The sun is out, birds are chirping and heavy coats are finally able to be tossed aside. Many people begin to trek back outside and resume outdoor activities once the weather warms up. While sunny days are a welcome change from the gloominess of winter, it also can usher in seasonal joint and back pain. Here we examine how springtime can contribute to the pain you may be experiencing,  and what you can do to prevent it. 

Seasonal Back Pain

When springtime rolls around, most individuals are thrilled to venture back outside. Unfortunately, spring also brings an increase in pollen counts, which many people are allergic to. Symptoms may range from sneezing or stuffiness, to joint, back, or neck pain, coughing, irritated eyes and even labored breathing. 

Why Do People Feel Back Pain During the Spring?

Pollen is a common seasonal allergy that may lead to back pain, but there are other allergens, as well. Grass, ragweed, and mold are also popular seasonal allergy triggers. In fact, a rainy spring can cause an increase in mold, due to the rapid growth rate of grasses and plants.  In the event of spring following a mild winter, early plant pollination may occur and continue well into the summer months. All of this will affect allergy sufferers, which may then prompt inflammation and back pain.  

Beyond allergies, being outside more and increasing activity through exercise, exterior home maintenance, and yard work, can all put a strain on the back. Overexerting yourself can place tension on muscles and ligaments that haven’t been worked in a while. This additional stress can lead to backaches, pain, and even injury. 

Changes in temperature, humidity, and air pressure also occur throughout the spring and summer months. These environmental fluctuations may also be causing or contributing to your back pain. 

How Seasonal Allergies Contribute To Back Pain

If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer, you know the misery that can ensue once your allergies start acting up. Allergies occur when your body’s immune system negatively reacts to something you have been exposed to. While people can be allergic to all sorts of things, like pet hair or certain foods, the most common culprit is environmental allergies. 

Allergies place additional strain on the body, as the immune system works overtime to address the increased inflammation that is triggered. When portions of the body become inflamed, this leads to overall body aches and pain. Not to mention, constant coughing and sneezing that allergies often generate, result in headaches, back or neck pain. 

Tips On How To Avoid Springtime Back Pain

Tip # 1

Everyone loves a good spring cleaning, but try to ease into the big clean-up. Digging, clipping, mowing, and tidying up around your home places strain on muscles that may not have been worked as much, over the past few months.

Always listen to your body and don’t overdo it. In fact, it’s a smart move to stretch before strenuous activity, and that includes using the muscles needed for gardening, mowing, and general home maintenance. 

Tip # 2

When you do venture outside, ensure you always wash your hands immediately when coming inside. Better yet, if you are able to shower and change clothing, this will help to decrease allergens being brought into your home, or collecting on furniture, carpet or rugs.

If environmental allergies are still triggering back pain, you may consider only going outdoors at certain times of day, depending on the weather. Pollen counts are the highest following rainfall, on windy or warmer spring days and typically in the morning hours. Additionally, high humidity encourages mold growth, which is another common allergen. It is best to avoid these conditions if your allergies are contributing to your joint or back discomfort.

Tip # 3

When it comes to ridding your house of allergens, whole-home humidifiers, air purifiers and filters work wonders.

Keep your space clean by washing bedding on a weekly basis, vacuuming carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture regularly. Never keep shoes on that were worn outside, as you’ll quite literally be walking allergens right inside your home.  

We Can Help!

While over-the-counter medications may help alleviate symptoms for some, the immune response and subsequent inflammation may persist. If an allergic reaction is contributing to your back pain, discussing treatment options with a professional may be in order.

No matter the season, the specialists at Georgia Pain and Spine Care, are here to help manage and address your discomfort. With several treatment options available, we will devise a custom plan to begin alleviating your pain immediately. Reach out today to learn more or to schedule an appointment. 

Lower Back Pain Relief Tips

Did you know lower back pain affects 540 million globally, which equates to more than 1 in 10 people worldwide? According to the CDC, 25% of the U.S. adult population reported having acute lower back pain in 2020.

Common Lower Back Pain Causes

With approximately 4 out of 5 people experiencing lower back pain at some point in their life, it is an extremely common issue. While sometimes the result of a condition or disease, lower back pain is most often attributed to an injury. Injured muscles or tendons can occur from trauma, like a car accident, but can also be caused by everyday activities such as gardening, hauling groceries or high-impact exercise. 

Symptoms of lower back pain may present abruptly, or be more gradual in nature. Pain may be sharp, or a dull, achy, radiating sensation. If you notice a decreased range of motion, you may be experiencing stiffness. This can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle or posture issues. 

Likewise, overused or strained muscles and misaligned spine tendons can cause uncontrolled muscle spasms to occur. It is possible for lower back pain to also result from strains, sprains, fractures, disk and structural problems, arthritis and certain diseases.

At Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain 

Many times lower back pain will resolve with minimal at-home intervention. The most essential thing is to rest, so further strain does not occur. Typically, ice, rest and over-the-counter pain medication, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are enough to resolve lower back pain. Following a few days of rest, you can begin to slowly resume normal activities. Assuming no pain arises, remaining active will help increase blood flow to the area and promote healing along with light lower back stretching.

Lifestyle Considerations

Some individuals may be more prone to lower back pain, based on a variety of risk factors. These include:

  •  Age: Anyone over the age of 30 will experience more bodily “wear and tear.” Spinal disks weaken with age, resulting in stiffness and pain.
  • Weight: Overweight and obese individuals place more pressure and strain on joints and disks.
  • Lifestyle and Occupation: People who drink, smoke or lead a sedentary life are more at risk, as well as those who participate in jobs or activities that require heavy lifting. 
  • Structural Health: Weak abdominal muscles can contribute to back strain or sprains. Severe pain can result from spine conditions, like scoliosis.
  • Mental Health: Depression and anxiety may manifest physically and lead to back pain.
  • Disease: Certain forms of cancer or tumors have a higher risk of lower back pain, as do those with a family history of osteoarthritis.

Back Pain Treatments 

While lower back pain usually resolves on its own with at-home care, contacting a medical professional is imperative, if pain persists. There is a possibility a physical exam will be completed to identify any broken bones or damage to muscles, disks, tendons or ligaments. You may receive an MRI, CT scan, EMG or spine x-ray to further investigate the cause of your lower back pain. 

Treatment protocols may include over-the-counter or prescription drugs to relieve pain. In some situations, steroid injections are also sometimes used to further reduce inflammation and pain. Physical therapy may be recommended, as a way to strengthen muscles, leading to a more supportive spine. PT has the added benefit of protecting against future injury, as flexibility will be improved. Similarly, manipulative work may aid in decreasing lower back pain by relaxing tightened muscles. These treatments include hands-on manipulation, like chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy, that improve alignment and restore proper function.

If the above treatments do not properly address lower back pain, surgery may be required. Certain conditions, injuries or diseases, might only respond to surgical repair. Fortunately, there are several surgical options available, including the use of minimally invasive techniques.

While you may not be able to completely eliminate the possibility of lower back pain, you have the power to drastically reduce your risk by making healthy lifestyle choices. Be sure to always lift heavy objects properly, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly, focusing on improving core muscle strength. 

If you experience lower back pain, most people can treat it at home and recover without any long-term health complications. If pain continues, it is best to work with a medical professional to properly assess and treat your specific condition.  Check out some of our pain treatments here at Georgia Pain and Spine Care.

World Spine Day 2021

What is world spine day?

This happens each year on October 16th. The day is to highlight the burden that many face when it comes to spinal pain and disability around the entire world. You will find healthcare professionals, public health advocates to schoolchildren all take part on this.

Where is it celebrated?

On every continent!

What are the main parts of Spine Day?

The biggest highlights of the day are to bring into focus the importance of spinal health and overall well-being. The goal of this is to promote physical activity along with proper lifting techniques and posture health. With it noted that almost a billion people or more suffer from some sort of spinal pain, it could be considered one of the biggest disabilities on earth to some. With so many that do not have access to a spinal professional for help or medical care, a day like this gives information to all in the hope to put the power of spinal health in the hands of any that participate and more.

Here is a few blogs that pretain to spine health:

At Georgia Pain and Spine care, we strive to make our patients comfortable in any way possible with the pain they are dealing with. We know that information is one of the most powerful things you can give someone when dealing with pain issues. Join us in taking a day to learn how we can treat our spines better.

Behavioral Health Benefits

You may have heard the terms “mental health” and “behavioral health” used interchangeably but there is actually a difference between the two. Mental health focuses on a number of factors that influence your emotional well-being, including your biology, psychological state, personal habits and more.

What is Behavioral Health

Behavioral health, on the other hand, is a sub discipline within the broader category of mental health. Behavioral health focuses on your habits and how they impact your overall physical and mental state. For example, compulsive eating, substance abuse, gambling, and sex addiction are all examples of behavioral health problems. Therefore, behavioral health therapy is an effort to change unhealthy habits and patterns in order to correct these underlying issues.

How GA Pain and Spine uses Behavioral Health for Their Patients

At Georgia Pain and Spine Care’s Newnan, LaGrange and Peachtree City locations we utilize state of the art cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to treat the underlying causes of addiction and help you make the change you need and want to make. CBT is a scientific approach that is based on developing a close and collaborative relationship between the therapist and the patient. CBT therapists focus on the way that a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors contribute to their total health (often negatively) and seeks to affect positive and lasting change. For example, one of our therapists, Dr. Dan Kirschenbaum has written a new book that talk about how behavioral therapy can help you change your eating habits and live a healthier life. When you come to Georgia Pain and Spine you get the best state of the art care in all dimensions of your life working with noted experts like Dr. Kirschenbaum.

How Does it Benefit Pain Treatment and More

Georgia Pain and Spine’s behavioral health programs help you manage and reduce both physical and emotional pain so that you can live a happier, more fulfilling life. Our experts are well versed in all the latest therapeutic approaches including dissociation (distraction, focusing on an alternative), progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and self-regulatory training. We also help you combat emotional pain and reduce stress using Rational Emotive Therapy, relaxation techniques, coping skills training, and work/life balance therapy.

If your suffering from an eating disorders or other behavioral health issues, please reach out to our expert staff at one of our three locations in Newnan, LaGrange or Peachtree City.