The cold weather months can often bring many problems, but most people don’t think about the stress on their bodies.
“Cold weather pains are an issue for young and old,” said Dr. Kimberly Harman, of Shenandoah Valley Chiropractic in Mount Jackson. “My goal as a chiropractor is to improve the whole person. Chiropractic adjustments work to align the spinal column and create balance in the frame of the body. This allows greater motion and flexibility for the person, allowing their body to function and feel better, no matter what the season.”
Dr. Jeremy Busch, of Performance Sport and Spine in Front Royal, said that the team he works with uses a combination of multiple techniques to help their patients: soft-tissue treatments, joint mobilization and rehabilitation.
“Not every person is the same, but we have things to help everyone that comes in,” he said.
While the winter season is still young, Busch said that he hasn’t had a lot of patients who have been in due to cold weather aches and pains.
“This year has been unique, and I think a lot of that has been because of the weather,” Busch said. “We haven’t had a really big cold spell, and we’ve also had very limited snow to see those types of pains.”
Instead, Busch said he has seen people who may have been battling illness caused by the weird weather and have been dealing with achy bodies because of that illness.
“We’re seeing a lot of these weird kind of freak incidental traumas we don’t see generally,” he said. “If we start seeing the snow come in, it’ll fall back into that normal pattern. People are deconditioned and will have to pick up shovels.”
Busch said he sees a lot of people come in with lower back and hip aches due to shoveling snow.
“That’s why we need that custom plan to get them better and get really good at diagnosing what’s up,” he said.
Both Harman and Busch recommended more exercise during the winter to help limit aches and pains.
“So often, when it is cold outside, we want to snuggle up and stay cozy, but you will naturally warm up and also boost your metabolism with regular intentional exercise,” Harman said. “Stretching is also important, along the same lines as exercise. Keep the body flexible, and you will minimize those aches and pains.”
Busch added, “If you get more active and better conditioning, you’ll more than likely be able to handle your more mechanical-based movements."
He also recommended that people put foods like fruits, vegetables and fish into their diet. Harman said that keeping hydrated with room temperature or warm water is also important, especially during the cold, dry days of winter.
“Drinking pure, clean, filtered water will help with cellular function and thus help keep the body functioning and feeling its best,” she said.
Harman also recommended adding good quality turmeric to the diet, either adding it to food or taking supplementation.
“Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family and has been shown to lower inflammatory response in some patients,” she said.