The holidays are upon us, which means more family time, celebrating traditions, and if not careful—added stress and pain. Back, head and neck pain are the three most common pain conditions that affect millions of Americans every day. This pain may be the result of chronic underlying medical conditions and could require professional care. But in some cases, you can manage it by following a few simple tips. If you’re gearing up for holiday activities including tree trimming, shopping, wrapping gifts, and hours of holiday baking, read our helpful tips to prevent pain or aches in the neck, shoulder, and back.
Shopping Tip: While shopping for the perfect holiday gifts, make sure you are checking on your posture and evenly distributing shopping bags. After you’ve collected a few bags, take a trip to the car to unload to prevent shoulder or neck pain from overuse.
Gift Wrap Tip: Instead of doing last-minute wrapping on the floor of your living room, set up a gift wrapping station in a spare bedroom or office. By using a table, you won’t have to hunch over while festively wrapping up your holiday gifts.
Baking Tip: Holiday cookies, made-from scratch-pies, and decadent desserts can have you spending hours in the kitchen. Try working on a padded surface if you have tile or wood flooring, as standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time can lead to muscle fatigue.
Travel Tip: If you’re currently in physical therapy and are traveling for the holidays, don’t forget to pack your Theraband and home exercises. You can quickly do these while hanging out in the airport terminal or first thing when you wake up. Both you and your physical therapist will be glad you kept up with your home exercise program. Here are some exercises you can do comfortably in your hotel room.
There you have it! Four tips to avoid pain during the holiday season. If you end up feeling tense, sore, or achy after the holidays, contact us at ProActive Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment.