Winter Aches and Pains

This has been an incredibly cold winter and in the last 3 weeks many patients with chronic niggles are returning to the practice with generalised aches in the neck, upper back and shoulders. This is classic 'Winter Posture' tension and fatigue - when you hunch against the cold - shoulders raised, hands in pockets, head bent down, taking smaller steps.


Do You Have Winter Aches and Pains?

This time of year is common for Winter Posture and is predisposed by shorter days with more time spent indoors, cold weather causing the above postural changes and also lack of Vitamin D from sunshine affecting also the balance of calcium and magnesium within the body.

Symptoms include general stiffness across the shoulders and mid back with neck stiffness and reduced neck movement in turning left and right. For those who are predisposed to them, headaches may become more frequent and intense. There may even be occasional pins and needles in the hands and arms. Winter coughs and colds can aggravate this symptomatic pattern and create altered breathing patterns and sometimes rib pains.

What Can You Do About Winter Posture Aches and Pains?

  • Keep Warm. It is very important to keep the muscles of the neck and back warm. Even at night it can be a good idea to wrap a scarf around your neck or a blanket to keep neck and shoulders warm. Good gloves are vital too so that you can walk along freely swinging your arms to stimulate movement of the thoracic spine. Hands in pockets will just add to the postural tension when cold.

  • Muscle Massage and Joint Articulation. The good news is that Winter Posture is very easily reversed with Osteopathic massage and joint articulation. Osteopathic treatment aims to massage the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders to encourage better muscular function. Joint articulation and manipulation encourages spinal and ribcage movement and improved posture. The end result should be a more upright stance with improved breathing patterns and a general ease of movement.

  • Supplements. In the UK winter months we do not absorb Vitamin D from sunshine and so taking Vitamin D3, Magnesium and Calcium Supplementation can help the body joints and muscles function more efficiently. These three work together and are vital for effective function of the neurotransmitters of nerves, muscle contraction, hormone balance and metabolic energy.

For any queries please do contact us at the practice on 0208 977 6396.

Best wishes


General Osteopathic Council Registered