Neck, Back, Shoulder Pain and Holiday Stress? 5 Tips To Help Prevent and Reduce Your Holiday Sufferings

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for many. Families and loved ones get together and give thanks. People celebrate and take time to reach out to neighbors, friends and their favorite charitable organizations. It is a time Michael and I  thoroughly look forward to each year.

Entertaining, shopping, decorating, socializing, cleaning, cooking-yikes! The added anxiety and stress of all the holiday hustle and bustle can increase our level of physical activity and mental stressors, beyond our usual day-to-day, and intensify chronic neck, shoulder and/or back pain or aggrivate “bad backs” for those occasional sufferers.

Holiday travel may be a huge factor as well. Long, cramped car rides, horrible airplane seats with almost no padding, and for what seems to be hours on end to reach your final destination…  We’ve all been there.  Then, to be taken away from our normal comforts of home, like our heated ergonomic chairs and fluffy, pillowtop mattresses and instead, find ourselves sleeping on Aunt Barbara’s couch or an inflatable twin mattress on the floor. You get the picture.

So here are 5 tips we hope you may find helpful in minimizing physical pain and mental stress this Holiday Season:

1.)  Set yourself up for success!  Establish realistic goals that you truly can accomplish in one day or over a weekend and strive not to be the ultimate people-pleaser, nicely say “No”. Decide what’s most important, prioritize and seek to not overextend yourself.
2.)  Get enough rest and sleep. Yes, you have to get to the store, wrap those gifts, pick up dry cleaning, bake that cake, etc…but sleep deprivation is a big contributor to aggrivating physical pain, especially in the neck, back and shoulder regions.  Do your best to be disciplined and strive to go to bed and get 6 to 8 hours of sleep! If you have difficulty sleeping due to stress or chronic pain, you might want to check with your primary care doctor regarding possible over-the-counter and/or prescription sleep aids or pain medication options so that you can get the rest your body needs.

3.)  TAKE TIME OUT for yourself.  Treat yourself to whatever it is you consider a treat within your budget so you’re not adding even more stress to yourself. Maybe it’s a massage or some time at a spa to relax and rejuvenate and recharge your batteries. Consider asking one of your besties to join in if that would make it more enjoyable for you.

4.)  Think Small(er)!  Plan a small(er) gathering of friends and loved ones, rather than a huge extravaganza. Hosting a large event has many stressors, consider scaling back or hosting 2 small events perhaps instead of one large one.

5.)  Exercise.  #1 on the list should be exercise, but often, it is the fist activity to be nixed and neglected. Exercise is so important because it helps rid the body of stress and stressful toxins. Do what you can do… Take a walk, run, ride a bike, go to the gym…or workout in your home. Nothing beats exercise during times of stress.

If you are in too much pain to exercise, consider visiting a chiropractor for relief. Chiropractic adjustments help to re-align the spine and remove pressure from the nervous system allowing our bodies to better heal themselves once the nerve interference has been removed.

Michael and I both suffer from chronic back pain and regular problematic neck and shoulder pain from too much time spent sitting and on the computer without proper stretching and enough exercise.  We LOVE the chiropractic work of Dale A. Zuehlke, D.C., at Greater Chicago Chiropractic and recommend him highly (561 W. Diversey Suite 221). We do our best to see him regularly for preventative care and maintenance, but to often it is when we are crippled in pain we show up at Dale’s office pleading with him to fix us… fast!

For a free consultation to discuss how he may help you, or to make an appointment for an adjustment call (773) 871-7766 and please tell Dr. Dale Michael and Derrick sent you his way

Greater Chicago Chiropractic   Dale on YELP

Hope This Helps and Wishing Happy Holidays To All!