Ways to Handle the Holidays and Back Pain

How To Reduce Back Pain In A Holiday Season?

Back PainBack pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life. The back pain is these joints in the back of the spine called facet joints. Although the causes of this pain are usually physical, emotional stress can play a role in how severe pain is and how long it lasts.

The causes of back pain are numerous; some are self-inflicted due to a lifetime of bad habits. Treatment options for this pain are determined based on whether the pain is acute or chronic. This kind of pain can suck the joy out of your days for weeks, months, even yearsThis pain can be caused by a variety of problems with any parts of the complex, interconnected network of spinal muscles, nerves, bones, discs or tendons in the lumbar spine.

Holiday Shopping Can Cause Lower Back Pain

Holiday shopping can be tough on your wallet. But did you ever consider how your wallet might be equally tough on you, especially your back? George Costanza famously suffered from back pain after carrying an overstuffed wallet in one episode of “Seinfeld.” And what about those heavy packages that weigh you down as you’re traipsing through the mall? All that extra baggage can cause pain in your lower back and throughout your body.

What to Do With Your Wallet or Purse
“Before you go out shopping, clean out your wallet,” says Mary Ann Wilmarth, D.P.T., chief of physical therapy at Harvard University in Cambridge. “Thick wallets carried in your back pocket can press on the sciatic nerve and cause back pain. Instead, keep it thin and in your front pocket, and put your shopping receipts in a separate pocket.”

Those who prefer carrying a handbag should leave the heavy purse at home, she adds, because “wearing it on one side can make you asymmetrical and lead to back pain.” Instead, she suggests wearing a smaller passport-type of purse or wallet that holds just a cell phone, credit card, and driver’s license. Read more here.

Back pain can develop any time you stay in one position for an extended period of time, whether it’s sitting in an office chair or a driver’s seat or stand in one place.

Dealing With Back Pain? Try These Simple Stretches

Millions of people are affected by back pain every day. And beyond living with the pain itself, back pain diminishes your quality of life—you end up missing work, family and social activities that you enjoy, your favorite sports, and you may not even be able to accomplish simple, everyday necessities.

Whether it’s a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or strained muscles, it can take some time to diagnose and treat the causes of back pain. So while you’re trying to figure it out, here are a few simple things you can do to help achieve some level of comfort and pain relief:

  • Let your spine really rest while sleeping.
  • Exercise your core to strengthen abs and back muscles.
  • Wear shoes that support your spine.
  • Enjoy the benefits of an Ayurveda massage.
  • Practice good ergonomics while sitting and limit total sitting time.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat healthy.
  • Do some simple back stretches every day. See more here.

In most cases, back pain will improve in a few weeks or months, although some people experience long-term pain or pain that keeps coming back.

Stroud Chiropractic Shares Tips for Managing Back Pain During the Holidays

Back pain doesn’t disappear just because it’s the holiday season. Unfortunately, holiday activities and stress can actually make pain worse.

  • Don’t Overdo Holiday Treats: It takes almost superhuman willpower to resist tasty holiday treats. Although there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a cookie or two, make sure you balance your treat intake with plenty of healthy meals. Eating too many high-calorie foods can result in weight gain, which can make your pain worse.
  • Make Plans: The chaotic holiday season can increase your stress level, which in turn increases back pain. Proper planning will help you ensure that you’re not overwhelmed during this busy time of year. Don’t try to choose gifts for everyone on your list during one frenzied shopping excursion. Schedule several shorter trips instead. When you make your holiday plans, don’t forget to add a visit to Stroud Chiropractic to your calendar. Regular spinal adjustments will help keep your pain in check.
  • Keep Exercising: Exercise tends to fall to the bottom of your to-do list during the holidays. Regular activity and exercise reduce stiffness and pain, improves mobility and strength, and is an essential part of your back pain treatment plan. Take a few minutes every day for some yoga, or visit your local pool and try a few water exercises. Read full article here.

Stretching Exercise For Back Pain Is Effective

Generally, conservative (non-surgical) treatments for the low back pain will be recommended first. The causes of this can be complex, and there are many structures in the spine that can cause pain. Slow mobilization and gentle stretching is then an advisable form of this pain care, and the sooner a patient can return to his or her normal functional activities, the sooner the episode of lower back pain will usually get better.

Patients with ongoing back pain may find it takes weeks or months of stretching and other back exercises to mobilize the spine and soft tissues but will find that meaningful and sustained relief of this will usually follow the increase in motion. The majority of people with this kind of pain have problems with poor muscle flexibility, strength or endurance. Exercise also helps reduce the risk that the back pain will return, reach us here: (619) 831-8777 for more ideas.

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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 6 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.