The season is upon us, one of joy and giving and family. Your celebration plans may create additional activities that create stress resulting in mental and physical pain, back pain being one of the most frequent complaints. This may affect your ability to enjoy the celebration you’ve worked so hard for.
Back pain is the most common physical complaint in the US and the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Fortunately, most cases are non-organic, meaning it can be treated non-surgically, with a reasonable expectation of full recovery.
More good news is that according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, conservative care is recommended as the first line of treatment, before considering surgery. More recently, the results of a clinical trial published in JAMA Network Open showed that chiropractic care combined with usual medical care for low back pain provides greater pain relief and a greater reduction in disability than medical care alone. The study, which featured 750 active-duty members of the military, is one of the largest comparative effectiveness trials between usual medical care and chiropractic care ever conducted.
Back Pain Prevention
Holiday Shopping – This activity is more physical and stressful that you realize. Try to make shopping as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Try some stretching exercises and a quick walk to warm up. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing and leave the children at home. Try to plan your shopping trip to include multiple breaks and trips to your car to drop off packages. Take advantage of online shopping for larger items that include free delivery. One strategy is to note items of interest while shopping your favorite stores, then order the items online. Take advantage of grocery delivery and pick up services. Not only will this force you to make and stick to your list, but it saves you money and time. Plan some post shopping “me time”. Take a yoga class, get a massage or just relax in the tub.
Holiday Decorating – Again, you should stretch and warm up first. If your decorating activities include the use of a ladder, always make sure someone else is helping you. Take frequent breaks and don’t try to overdo it.
Gift Wrapping – Choose a comfortable space, like the kitchen table and keep your wrapping materials close at hand. Don’t try to do this on the floor or bed. Alternate standing and sitting. You may consider a wrapping service for larger items for the sake of your back.
Holiday Meals – Many aspects of a traditional holiday meal include ingredients that increase inflammation which in turn increases the likelihood of back pain. Try to limit your intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol. When you do indulge, try adding healthful foods high in fiber and nutrition. These foods include avocado (guacamole dip), berries, broccoli and fatty fish (salmon) as well as substituting olive oil for animal or vegetable based oils. Choosing some healthful options can help balance some of the damage done by overindulgence.
Your holiday plans don’t have to include back pain if you practice self care. You may want to schedule a chiropractic visit with us for some preventative maintenance prior to the season. If you do experience pain, the quicker you take care of it, the better. We can arrange same day appointments for you, call or click to schedule your appointment. It could be the best gift you’ve given yourself.