Tips for avoiding holiday back pain
Basking in the warm glow of those festive light displays, indulging in that extra glass of eggnog when you know you shouldn’t and infusing the economy by becoming one with the crush of shoppers on the prowl for presents. These timely traditions can only mean one thing — the holidays are here. But if you’re not careful, you could spend them suffering on the sidelines, with seasonal back pain.
Making your holiday list and checking it twice can be both stressful and painful, especially if it involves chronic back pain. And if you happen to live in a colder climate where it snows, this time of year can create even more anxiety when it involves shoveling with back pain.
So how can you stay safe and healthy this holiday season while keeping your days merry and bright? According to Dr. Jeffrey Langmaid, a Chiropractor and Consult Physician at Laser Spine Institute, it’s easier than you think.
“Holiday back pain can come at the worst time,” he says, “when you’re spending time with family.” But, he adds, there are some simple tips you can incorporate into your holiday routine so the most wonderful time of the year, stays that way.
- Travel smarter. The holidays are notorious for overstuffed luggage and baggage. Be thoughtful when packing your suitcase. A lighter bag is not only easier to maneuver in the airport and put in the car, but it will save your back when you are traveling. For even more traveling tips, check out the video below.
- Stay hydrated. During the holidays, we tend to eat too much salt and consume too much caffeine. And when you add in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, gift wrapping and parties, it’s easy to forget to drink water. This can cause dehydration, muscle spasms and lead to back pain. So make sure you are drinking water throughout the day.
- Decorate safer. Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50,000 people every year sustain some sort of winter-related back injury, and 5,800 of those are holiday decorating-related? The good news is, it is still possible to deck the halls while staying out of your doctor’s office! We see many injuries that occur while people are decorating their house or tree, especially on ladders. So always have help when climbing with back pain. And lift with your legs when moving boxes of heavy decorations.
By making these simple adjustments to your holiday routine, Dr. Langmaid says, “you’ll go a long way toward staying pain and injury free this season.” But if chronic pain persists, even after you’ve tried conservative treatments, call Laser Spine Institute for your no-cost MRI review.* We’ll let you know in two business days if one of our minimally invasive spine procedures can treat your chronic neck or back pain.