As a Chiropractic Physician and Non Surgical Orthopedic Physician, we see many patients in our office during the holiday rush for problems they often times can avoid. Why is that? Because it is the season for parties, gift shopping, family gatherings and curling up to watch a favorite movie on the couch. The holiday season is full of reasons for good cheer and yet, it is prime time for Americans to suffer from back and neck pain.
The stress associated with extra obligations during the holidays can increase muscle tension, aggravating pre-existing conditions. There are also a number of common seasonal activities— such as entertaining, shopping, and wrapping gifts— that can lead directly to back and neck pain. Here are a few tips from the American Chiropractic Association to help you stay pain free this holiday season.
At home (or visiting a friend or relative’s home):
- Sit in a firm but comfortable chair, and pay attention to posture while entertaining friends and family or watching television. Spending hours on too-soft sofas in poor posture can cause imbalances along the spine.
- Don’t cook, clean, and talk on the phone all at once— unless you have a headset. Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can lead to muscle tension and neck pain.
- Make yourself comfortable. Prevent unnecessary body tension by wearing supportive shoes and non-restrictive clothing.
- Leave your overstuffed purse at home. Instead, wear a fanny pack or take a small wallet containing only the essentials— credit card, driver’s license, and your gift list of course.
- Don’t try to carry too much at once. Make frequent visits to your car to unload bags, if necessary. For larger items, don’t be shy— ask your sales clerk for help!
- Remember, shopping can be an endurance sport, so treat yourself right after a long day of shopping. Stretch your muscles and take a hot shower or bath to release tension that may have accumulated during the day.
- Wrap presents at a table. While spreading out on the floor may be fun and convenient, it encourages poor posture and tension.
Sticking to a routine of physical activity, getting adequate rest, getting regular Chiropractic Care and eating well will also help relieve stress and tension during the holidays. Above all, relax! It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, your family, and your back. If you experience neck or back pain, feel free to contact our office, Caraotta Chiropractic Orthopedics, for a spinal check-up. We have four doctors in our office, great hours, family-friendly fees and would be honored to serve you!