The holidays are often not associated with back pain. Due to the fact that approximately 65 million Americans have reported a recent occurrence of back pain and that 16 million people suffer from chronic back pain, the likelihood that you or someone in your family may have back pain during the holidays is likely.
One of the main reasons being that you’re more likely to be active in things that aren’t part of your typical routine. You may be traveling long distances, overworking yourself or find yourself in foreign surroundings during the holidays. As a result, here are a few pointers to help you avoid back discomfort over the holidays and instead allow you to enjoy your time with family and friends.
Best Practices for Avoiding Back Discomfort
Develop a Strong Core
The most effective strategy to prevent back issues is to develop a strong core. The stronger your core muscles in your stomach and back are, the less likely it is that you will strain your back when you handle boxes and gifts, pick up relatives’ children, and load and unload baggage throughout the holiday season. The ability to maintain a high level of physical fitness will be quite beneficial over the Christmas season.
Get Some Help with Your Decorating
Let’s make it simple: don’t put up your Christmas decorations by yourself! Inviting relatives and friends to assist you may be really beneficial. The importance of this becomes even more apparent when you’re putting up a huge, uncomfortable Christmas tree or stringing Christmas lights throughout the home. Take caution while climbing and descending ladders, and avoid repeated twisting or lifting actions if at all possible.
This one is also really simple: do as much internet shopping as you can to spare your back as much as possible. The more time you spend navigating several shops, parking lots, and excursions to the mall, the more stress you put on your back. This is particularly true during the Christmas season when public areas get more congested. Take the time to get acquainted with online retailers and gift cards; your back will thank you in the long-run.
Divide Cooking Tasks
A big group of people around for dinner is no little undertaking, as you may already be aware of this fact. Staying on your feet for lengthy periods of time may be quite damaging to your back, so try to spread out your work as much as possible. Assign particular dishes to people to bring, and enlist the assistance of others to assist you with serving and cleaning up as much as possible in advance of the event.
Control Your Stress
Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as well as other family events, travel, and shopping, may make this season one of the most stressful periods of the year. When we’re stressed, we tend to become more tense, which may result in muscular soreness and discomfort. While it is unlikely that you will be able to completely remove stress, you may manage it by following a few basic techniques.
First and foremost, make a plan. Make room in your calendar for additional time so that you don’t have to run about all of the time. As a result, you may experience less weariness and effort, which may help lower your stress levels. In addition, duties should be broken down into smaller portions.
One last suggestion is to schedule some time for physical activity during the season, such as yoga, stretching, or walking. These hobbies provide you with time away from stressful settings while also assisting your body in relaxing, which will help it stay in better shape.
Try Not to Overindulge
Back discomfort may be brought on by overeating and drinking too much over the holidays. Feeling sluggish is a result of overindulging. When you’re tired, you sit more and do less physical exercise. Less physical activity may result in deconditioned, fatigued back muscles, as well as greater spine tension.
Second, your diet might be a significant cause of back discomfort. Sugar, gluten, milk, and alcohol sensitivity, to mention a few, may all contribute to inflammation and nerve sensitivity, resulting in back pain. Knowing how your body feels after eating particular meals will help you understand the connection between nutrition and your body.
Take Frequent Mini-Exercise Breaks
The Christmas season has a tendency to throw your fitness plan into a loop. We are normally busy at work, attempting to complete tasks before taking time off. Decorating, buying, planning, gift-giving, and card-writing are just a few of the extra tasks that come with the holiday season. All of this makes it more difficult to fit in a training regimen that keeps your back in good shape.
If you can’t stick to your normal exercise schedule, make do with small workouts. Finding small bursts of movement might help prevent your back from flaming up. Take a walk after sitting or driving a long drive to improve circulation and relax back muscles.
Do 5-10 minutes of stretching after your shower, 1-2 core exercises in between meetings or appointments, and take a walk after sitting or driving a long drive to improve circulation and relax back muscles. Stretching and unwinding your back for even 10 minutes before bed might help a lot. Allowing the Christmas season to completely disrupt your workout plan is not always a good idea.
Takeaway: Prevent and Manage Back Pain to Enjoy Your Holidays
We hope these easy tips for avoiding back discomfort throughout the holiday season were helpful. By increasing your awareness and implementing some of these preventive actions, you may take control of the likelihood of developing a back condition. If you take these precautions to prevent back discomfort over the holidays, you should have no problems getting through the season.
If you do have back discomfort and are looking for treatment options, make an appointment today with the our experts at the Spine Institute of San Diego.