Isn’t it ironic that one of the supposed happiest times of the year can be filled with stress and warnings about avoiding back pain? It’s true, but there are strategies to reduce the stress and keep you and your back happy. If you are already getting stressed just thinking about the upcoming holiday, here are some tips to avoid back pain during the holidays.
Decorating Is More Fun With A Friend (And Safer)
Finding the tree, getting it from the car to the house, setting it up, and lastly, decorating it are common chores this time of year. It is filled with ways you could injure your back or stress your neck muscles just doing that one important part of holiday decorating.
Maybe you have an artificial one that is less difficult to set up. Good for you, but anyone with chronic back pain might still be vulnerable.
Hanging lights indoors and outdoors should always be a group project. Ladders are not your friend! That job should always have a minder on the ground, and if you already suffer with neck issues, looking up for any period of time, well, you know. Take turns at the very least.
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
A lot of lifting and carrying happens during the holidays.
- Always use your legs when lifting something heavy while keeping your back straight. Never bend down.
- When carrying heavy decorations or boxes, keep them close to your body and don’t lean forward, backward, or to the side. Changing the alignment of the spine can cause injury.
- Use chairs and step stools when decorating higher surfaces to avoid reaching and straining your back.
Binging on all the goodies during the holidays can exacerbate lower back pain.
Shopping Made Easy
If you already have chronic back issues, you don’t have to fight the crowds and get into traffic jams. Just turn on your computer, send gifts to faraway friends, have gifts sent to you (already wrapped), and add in some gift cards. All done without any back or neck problems.
Reduce Holiday Travel Aches And Pains
Traveling by air or car can leave your muscles stressed and tense causing neck and back pain. Consider some precautions:
- Bring along something to support your back like little pillows to prevent slouching. Neck pillows are another “must have”.
- If driving, stop frequently to stretch and move. If flying on a long flight, follow the same practice and move your legs occasionally.
- Shrug your shoulders up and down, back and forth, and side to side.
Take A Breath
Slow down, don’t rush, and enjoy!
Then look ahead to next year and make some decisions to improve any chronic back pain.
Contact Palm Beach Pain Institute at (561) 499-7020 to schedule an appointment to find the source and possible treatments for your chronic back and neck pain.