You know very well that December means… festivity! Whether is it Christmas or Hanukkah that you are celebrating, the holiday season fever is surely something you won’t miss! Ginger flavored goodies at coffee shops, scrumptious national dishes at your neighbours’, and the omnipresent, wonderful holiday spirit! Everything sounds like magic, however, there is one catch: Back pain.
Santa is coming to town, and so is pain.
At our pain clinic in Aventura, every December we are visited by multiple patients suffering from either lower or upper back pain caused by activities which they are not used to doing (e.g. shopping for hours, lifting heavy things, decorating houses) often in connection with the Holiday Season. To help you avoid sharing their fate, our pain management doctor in Aventura shares 5 tips on what to do to enjoy a pain free Christmas and Hanukkah! Don’t let back pain prevent you from enjoying the Holiday Season as much as you would like!
1. Pace yourself with Holiday shopping
Seasonal holiday shopping is definitely a big part of the holiday season. Even though your shopping list is endless, it’s a good idea to spread your journey over the course of days / weeks, instead of trying to cross out everything within one or two days. Cramped malls, Santas emerging from every corner, long lines to the cash registers, and all that hustle and bustle may stress you out and lead to increased tension in your muscles and joints. Our pain management doctor in Aventura recommends: don’t spend all day in a shopping center, but choose quiet periods when you will not be made to push your way out of the crowd to be able to leave the store you’re at. What’s also important is the fact that when you pick only one day to purchase everything you need, you doom yourself to carry heavy bags that will additionally put a strain on your muscles, ligaments, and joints in your back. Don’t put yourself at risk of having back pain due to shopping overload. Remember that those ginger cookies, nutcracker figurines, and Christmas village pieces will be there for at least a few weeks. No need to rush.
2. Correct your posture
Getting ready for the Holiday Season is one thing, but surviving it without pain is another. If you are like most families who sit down together for Hanukkah or Christmas dinner, then hang out on the couch and laugh, sing, and share funny memories, you will most likely sit a lot. It’s crucial to remember about your posture to prevent back pain. When you’re sitting in a chair, sit up straight and keep your hips far back in it, distribute your weight evenly on both hips, bend your knees at a right angle, keep your feet flat on the floor. Whereas, if you’re sitting on the couch, to maintain the lumbar spine’s natural curve, place some pillows in your lower back. Don’t sit in one position for more than 30 minutes.
3. Don’t put up the Christmas tree by yourself
Both real and artificial trees can be heavy, that’s why it’s so important to bring someone with you to the store, basement, etc to help you carry it. The weight of the tree may negatively impact your ligaments and muscles by sudden awkward movements or twists. Our pain management doctor in Aventura advises to always estimate beforehand whether you are capable of lifting the Christmas tree by yourself without risking hurting yourself. It’s always okay to ask others for help. Not to mention, Holidays is this time of the year when people tend to give each other a helping hand.
4. Ladies, choose lower heels
We all know that this elegant and sophisticated footwear makes women look great, however, its influence on their back is not that great anymore. Wearing high heels causes strain on the back because it alters the center of gravity, not to mention, women tend to lean forward when walking in this type of footwear. Our pain management doctor in Aventura reminds you that our feet are responsible for shock absorption and any inappropriate shoes you wear may terribly impact the way your feet absorb the shocks, and contribute to multiple health issues, such as degenerative spine disorders. With that in mind, ladies, think about lower heels or maybe even dressy flats this holiday.
5. Stay active!
Last but not least, even though Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations is the time of the year when you relax and calm down, you should not give up physical activity. No one thinks about going to the gym during holidays, however, even going for a quick walk or playing with the youngest family members will be better than sitting on the couch all day and constantly eating. The smallest amount of physical activity will help with you back and neck stiffness.
If Holiday Season preparations has started to take a toll on you, get help from our Pain Management Doctor in Aventura
Don’t let the pain prevent you from enjoying this beautiful holiday season and contact us today to receive the care that you deserve. Our medical director, Luis Escobar, MD, will be happy to help ease your pain.
Our Medical Team at Pain Care Specialists of Florida wish you a pain-free Holidays and healthy 2018!