The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates over 50,000 people experience winter-related back injuries every year, and unbelievably, 5,800 of those are holiday-decorating related.
But it makes sense. There’s a lot of stress on the body with all the extra bending, squatting, climbing and leaning to tack up decorations. Besides that there is the strain from carrying heavy purchases, sitting on the floor to wrap them and lugging suitcases and packages over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go!
Here are a few simple tips to avoid making back pain worse this holiday season.
Start Early – If you have back issues, mark your calendar for September next year and get some shopping in ahead of time. More frequent and smaller amounts of stress on the back is better than less frequent but larger amounts of stress. Take it in Doses – No one said the tree has to be up and finished before lunchtime on December 1. There’s no rule stating Christmas dinner must be a six-course meal started at 5 am the 25th. Get some help and do it over a few days. Don’t be afraid to scale back if you need to. Your health is a lot more important than being a holiday perfectionist.
Build in Rest Time – Hot baths, stretching, or just flat-out relaxing… all these breaks are going to be better on your back. Say “no” to an invitation or two. What’s a holiday without time to kick back?
Watch Out for the Pain-Killer Trap – To push through pain and keep the holiday ball rolling, we see a lot of people turn to self-medication. Pain medications can actually make you feel worse. The continued use of pain meds over time has been show to increase pain sensitivity and make it more difficult to get relief.
Don’t Forget Nutrition – When you’re indulging in all those rich, traditional holiday foods, have you ever thought about what all the extra calories and weight gain do for your back? Drink a ton of water and eat as well as you can. You’ll thank yourself in January.
Build in Time for Fitness – Keep moving if you can, even if you are in pain. This stretches your muscles and keeps them stronger.
And if you realize your back pain is a bit more than just extra December exertion, Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers is here to help. Our team develops a specialized treatment plan for each person we see, taking into account psychosocial factors and incorporating care across a whole spectrum of potential health issues. Our approach hastens your healing and good health.
Everyone here at Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers wishes you and yours a great holiday!