The holidays can be an enjoyable time with friends and family, but it can also be a stressful time filled with lots of running around, attending school activities, buying gifts, and finding ingredients for the next family dinner. If you’re suffering from lower back pain, even the slightest overexertion can exacerbate your discomfort and cause you to miss out on the festivities. At the Colorado Spine Institute in Loveland, we’ve treated many patients who did just a bit more than they should have during the holidays, whether it was pick up something heavy, carry their grandkids around on their hip, or hurt themselves trying to hang lights.

Things You Can Do to Manage Pain

Whether you’re at home or a family member’s house, there are things you can do to relieve your back pain and avoid making it worse. You want to be sociable, but if your pain simply won’t let you relax, try to focus on doing some of these things.

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    • Sit in an upright chair – A firm, upright chair will give your back the support it needs. Spending hours on a soft couch can cause you to sit with poor posture, which can make lower back pain even worse. If you’re going to be sitting for an extended period of time while opening gifts or eating dinner, make sure you have a proper chair.
    • Go to a quiet room and lie down – Even if you’re at a friend or relative’s house, it’s okay to ask if there’s a spare bedroom or quiet spot in the house where you can lie down for a few minutes. The hubbub of the holiday celebration can often create more stress and may cause a headache, which will only compound your discomfort. Taking 10 to 20 minutes to decompress can help you prepare for the rest of the celebration.
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    • Be mindful of what you eat – The holidays are filled with great food and delicious treats, but eating too much too quickly can make you feel sluggish and could potentially lead to weight gain, which isn’t good for those with chronic back pain. It’s okay to enjoy a big meal, but eat slowly and be mindful of what kinds of food you’re eating.
    • holidaystressexacerbatebackpain-blogimg3Wear comfortable shoes – A proper pair of shoes can do wonders for back pain. If you’re going to be walking or standing for some time, it might be best to leave the high heels or dress shoes at home. Pick a pair that helps you stand correctly so you don’t compromise your posture or get sore feet and legs after 10 minutes.

If you’re looking forward to the holidays, but not to the risk of making your back pain worse, contact the Colorado Spine Institute today. We’ll thoroughly examine your spine and check for any internal problems, and recommend the best treatment or medication to help you manage your pain. By paying attention to your body and what you’re doing during the holiday season, you can avoid worse pain and less than merry season.