Have you ever found yourself in pain after the holidays? You’re not alone. There’s a lot of stress and exertion involved, whether you’re visiting family or hosting twenty people for dinner. If you’re one of those who have spent time looking forward to an event, only to have it leaving you exhausted and aching, we have some good news for you: there are steps you can take to protect yourself from all of the negative impacts that traveling and entertaining can have.
Think about the various things surrounding the holidays that end up causing you back or neck pain. Whether you’re the guest or the host, you’re probably spending hours leaning over a table gift wrapping presents. If you’re hosting, you’re cleaning up, moving furniture, making beds, and making repeated trips to the store to pick up all the groceries (and then cooking all that food too!) Add to that the fact that you’re out of your normal routine, probably not getting the exercise you’re used to or the sleep that you need because your schedule is so disrupted.
It’s no wonder that your neck and your back are aching.
If you’re honest with yourself, it’s the same thing every year. You make the same mistakes, you end up in pain, and you tell yourself what you could have or should have done to prevent it from happening. Let’s all agree to remind ourselves early and see if following these smart steps will leave your back feeling better than it has in the past when you come out the other side from this holiday season.
If You’re Entertaining
From the start of your activities, whether you’re vacuuming and making beds or going food shopping and cooking, make sure that you’re wearing the right shoes. Too many people run around their home in socks, taking care of all the homey touches and cooking, only to find themselves exhausted after. Sneakers with good arch support are your best bet, and if you’re spending time in front of the sink or stove, invest in one of those padded rubber mats to relieve stress on your back and joints. Another good idea is to use your knees when taking heavy things out of the oven, or better yet, get some help.
Be Kind to Your Back and Neck
Whether you’re wrapping gifts or chopping up vegetables, if you’re bending over then you’re putting unnecessary stress on your back. Don’t work at a table … instead choose the higher height of a kitchen island so you’re not putting stress on your spine and take a break at least every 20 minutes so that you can stretch and loosen up your muscles.
If You’re Traveling
Pack as light as you can and use a roller bag instead of something you have to carry. If you do have to lift a bag into an overhead compartment, don’t try to do the whole thing at once: pick it up to the seat and then up above. And whether you’ll be in plane, train or automobile, bring some kind of support for your lumbar spine and get up to walk around as often as you can.
We hope everybody has a happy and healthy holiday, and if you have any discomfort at all, contact us to set up an appointment.