Here are some tips that you can use throughout the year but are especially useful during the holidays. So give yourself the gift of spending happy holidays with less stress, neck and back pain. Christmas is a time of excitement, growth, family, friends mixed with stress.
Now there is good stress that we all use when we need it, but when everything just starts to close in all around you, that’s the bad kind of stress that we want to prevent and avoid. For people with chronic back or neck pain, the strain of getting your to-do list done can take the joy of the season right out and replace it with pain and misery. Therefore plan ahead so you can get your holiday chores done without pain.
Back and leg pain, along with sciatica, can make walking at a shopping mall almost impossible. Instead of doing a lot of walking maybe pick up gift cards or go online. This way the family and friends get to pick whatever they want and you avoid lifting and carrying shopping bags. But, if you do buy personalized gifts, go online. Everything gets shipped straight to wherever you want.
If you’re expecting a large crowd, prepare all you can ahead of time. Example: pies can be baked the day before.
Before you start cooking, look at the kitchen. Is there room for everyone to fit while helping, conversing, etc? If not, set up the space so people can flow easily around each other and get things done.
Use your counter-top to lean on every now and then for a few minutes and take the pressure off your back. Do not stay in any one position for an extended period. To help you not forget, set a timer to remind you to sit, rest, or stand. Also, let your guests help with serving and clean up so any stress on the body is reduced.
Don’t decorate by yourself. Especially when moving heavy objects. Get help so everyone is involved. This will prevent repetitive injuries when reaching or twisting and reduce stress to you and your family’s backs.
During the holidays we can get tempted to forget about our regular eating and exercise routines.
Stay focused, as you need strength and flexibility to be able to accomplish these tasks. So stretch out and continue your exercise regimen no matter how hectic it gets.
Stretching will help keep you limber and reduce the risk of a sprain or strain.
If there is no time for your regular exercise routine, don’t just drop it. Adapt and break up the exercises into little segments throughout the day.
Continue to eat the regular healthy meals you’re used to. Gaining weight will make back pain worse. Staying on track isn’t easy during the holidays. Take a look online for healthy strategies before the holiday parties begin.
Here are some examples:
Look ahead to the future and look up some simple ways to improve your back or neck pain. Setting some goals like adding a 5-minute walk break to your day that you could gradually increase to ten, fifteen minutes and so on. Signing up for a yoga/fitness class could be another idea. This could also be the year to replace your mattress. Whatever the case, take it all in, look at the options and figure out what works for you.
There are 3 major categories of stress: bodily, environmental and emotional.
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Functional & Physical Medicine & Nutritional Specialist*