The holidays are meant to be a fun and cheerful time of the year. However, one wrong move while decorating or lifting things could put you in severe pain. You might also find yourself feeling a little under the weather due to the cold temperatures that could result in various types of health issues, like painful joints. Below you’ll find some ways you can stay pain-free for the holiday season.
Common Injuries Caused During the Holidays
There are many common injuries that occur during the holidays:
- Back, shoulder, and arm pain
- Spinal strain
- Severe cuts
- Broken bones
Tips for Staying Pain-Free During the Holiday Season
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can make sure you stay pain-free for the holidays.
● Use Proper Lifting Techniques
One of the best ways to help prevent pain is to use proper lifting techniques. During the holidays, you more than likely will be lifting heavy boxes filled with decorations or presents. While it might be easy to bend down and pick these objects up, it can cause spinal strain. This can eventually lead to back pain. Because of this, you want to make sure to lift heavy objects up correctly.
To properly lift a heavy object up, you will first want to space your feet evenly apart. This will help your body to maintain good balance and support. After you do this, slowly squat down to the object you’d like to lift. Make sure your spine is straight when doing this. You can then take your hands to grab the object and secure it as close to your body as possible. You then want to use your feet and hips to lift your body back up.
● Always Check the Equipment You Plan to Use
Before you hang decor or lights up for the holidays, make sure to check the equipment you plan to use. By examining ladders, chairs, and other similar items you can make sure there are no rusted screws, broken rungs, water, and other liquids that might cause you to fall.
In addition to this, make sure to check the surface you place these items on to ensure it is level. Otherwise, you might end up falling because the equipment isn’t balanced correctly.
● Get Out and Move
While it might be a little difficult to move if you’re in pain, once you start doing so, you’ll find your body will feel significantly better. This is because your body is releasing endorphins which are natural pain-killers. You can get out and go for a walk or simply just move around in your living space.
In addition to moving around, you can try stretching. By moving your arms and legs, you can prevent tension from forming in then. Some simple stretches to do to help with this include:
- Cross-body stretches (take one arm and move it toward the opposite shoulder)
- Bicep stretches (take your arms, clasp them behind your back, and push your palms toward the ground)
- Prayer stretch (put your palms together toward the top of your chest and then slowly move them down to your stomach)
● See a Chiropractor
Another way to help make sure you stay pain-free during the holiday season is to use the services of a chiropractor. A chiropractor can help to reduce pain and injuries in various parts of your body, as well as provide healing for back and neck tension, arthritis, and headaches. Chiropractic care can also keep your body flexible so you can easily move around.
A chiropractor will use a handful of adjustments to help reduce inflammation and pain in your body. They will use a variety of different hand motions and tools to help feel around problematic areas and work on them. Afterward, chiropractors might also incorporate massage therapy — at our Anchorage clinic we incorporate massage therapy to help make the area worked on feel even better. Most chiropractic patients often find that after their first visit their pain is drastically reduced.
● Wear Supportive Shoes
Many often enjoy walking around outdoors to view holiday decor and to go shopping. However, if your shoes don’t support your body well, it could not only cause foot pain, but back and shoulder pain as well. This is because part of your spine is connected to the bones in your feet. If your shoes aren’t supporting the natural arch in them, it can cause them to be flat which can result in your spine and feet moving in unnatural ways. Due to this, it’s vital that you wear supportive shoes during the holiday season. You can invest in custom-made shoes for your feet or insoles that can cradle your feet while also making sure they are supported correctly.
● Make Sure to Consume Plenty of Vitamin B
Lower back pain is one of the most common problems during this time of year. By consuming Vitamin B, you can help to prevent it from occurring. In fact, a study done by the European Reviews for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences showed that participants in a test that took Vitamin B supplements had less back pain than those who didn’t.
There are plenty of ways you can get Vitamin B. One is by using Vitamin B supplements. You can also eat food high in this vitamin. This includes items such as:
- Whole grains
- Citrus fruits
- Sunflower seeds
● Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a natural form of medicine that uses needles in different body meridians. Your acupuncturist will more than likely heat the needles and feel around your body to find where they need to be inserted. Depending on your needs, you might require anywhere from 5-20 needles for your session. These needles are believed to help reduce inflammation which can cause pain while also releasing endorphins. Acupuncture can help many different types of pain, including back pain, osteoarthritis, and migraines.
The holiday season is meant to be a fun time of the year, not one that involves you being in pain. By keeping the tips mentioned above in mind, you can be sure you can work to prevent common injuries and pain that might strike during it.
Written by Dr. Brent Wells
About the Author
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.
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