The holidays are approaching. It is the season for gift shopping, family gatherings, dinners, parties and travel time on top of your regular daily activities. Extra energy is required from you in these events and they also put you in stressful situations. There are two potential sources of back pain and neck pain in these holiday situations. One is from the rigors of the physical activities. The other is from being stressed out and tensed. Tensed muscles can cause pain.
Avoiding Back and Neck Pain During the Holiday Season
Do not allow back and neck pain to stand in the way of your fully enjoying this holiday season by following these tips:
- Plan all your activities like shopping, decorating, food preparation and dinner ahead. Allow for extra time on your schedule. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable tasks. Then, prioritize the smaller tasks according to their importance. Anticipate situations that may cause you stress. Doing this, you may reduce the adverse effects of stress like chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain in your body, including the back and neck.
- During the putting up of the decorations, watch your posture. Use proper lifting techniques when you take out and move boxes of decorations. Squat down to pick up boxes and heavy objects from the floor. Keep your back straight. Hold the object very close to your body. Use your legs, not your back to do the lifting work. Also when turning, be sure to turn your whole body and not twist at the waist.
- When decorating an area lower than you can comfortably reach while standing, use a stool or chair and sit on it to avoid bending too much. If on the other hand you are trying to reach a high surface to decorate, use a step ladder so you can comfortably reach the surface without straining your muscles.
- Make cleaning and decorating the house a family activity. This way, you can avoid having you bear all the stress on yourself, and on your back and neck.
- Do not wrap gift packages while sitting on the floor. This is bad for your posture.
- In all the activities leading to and on the event itself, keep your muscles and body hydrated by drinking water frequently throughout the day. Avoid coffee. It contains caffeine, which tend to dehydrate you and stress you even more.
- Do stretching exercise before and after a long day of preparation and festivities. When you are stressed, your muscles tend to be less flexible than usual.
- Take frequent breaks in your shopping and holiday preparation activities. At least once every 45 minutes is recommended.
- Take time to rest. Have enough rest and sleep to give your body time to recuperate and repair itself. Lack of sleep can worsen your stress and your back pain.
Do not allow the stress of the holiday season affect you physically. By being conscious of your health in all the activities you do in keeping with the spirit of the season, you can prevent back pain and neck pain to ruin your holiday.