Holiday Guide to Back Care

Parties. Gift shopping. Family gatherings. Curling up to watch a favorite movie on the couch…. The holiday season is full of reasons for good cheer. And yet, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, it is also prime time for Americans to suffer from back and neck pain.

For one thing, the stress associated with extra obligations during the holidays can increase muscle tension, aggravating any existing condition. But there are also a number of common seasonal activities— such as entertaining, shopping, and wrapping gifts— that can lead directly to back and neck pain. Here are a few tips from the American Chiropractic Association to help you stay pain free this holiday season.

At home:

  • Sit in a firm but comfortable chair, and pay attention to posture while entertaining friends and family or watching television. Spending hours on too-soft sofas in poor posture can cause imbalances along the spine.
  • Don’t cook, clean, and talk on the phone all at once— unless you have a headset. Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can lead to muscle tension and neck pain.

While shopping:

  • Make yourself comfortable. Prevent unnecessary body tension by wearing supportive shoes and non-restrictive clothing.
  • Leave your overstuffed purse at home. Instead, wear a fanny pack or take a small wallet containing only the essentials— credit card, driver’s license, and your gift list of course.
  • Don’t try to carry too much at once. Make frequent visits to your car to unload bags, if necessary. For larger items, don’t be shy— ask your sales clerk for help!
  • Remember, shopping can be an endurance sport, so treat yourself right after a long day of shopping. Stretch your muscles and take a hot shower or bath to release tension that may have accumulated during the day.

Wrapping gifts:

  • Wrap presents at a table. While spreading out on the floor may be fun and convenient, it encourages poor posture and tension.

Sticking to a routine of physical activity, getting adequate rest, and eating well will also help relieve stress and tension during the holidays. Above all, relax! It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, your family, and your back. And if you do experience neck or back pain, be sure to fit an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic into your busy schedule.

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Monday:

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I have had back problems on and off for the past forty years, so I figured I’d just have to live with it like my M.D. told me. I went to see Dr. Bocchino with the hope that he could reduce some of the pain and stiffness that was messing with my golf swing. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. I felt better after the very first treatment. I continue to see Dr. Bocchino and only have minimal stiffness after playing a round of golf and my SCGA handicap index has dropped from 13 to 9!"
    Patrick C.
  • "Four years ago I fell and hurt my back. I was seen immediately by an M.D., given therapy and sent home with a prescription for pain relievers. Since then I have suffered continual back pain and been in agony at times. Upon examining me, Dr. Bocchino immediately discovered the cause - I had three previous compression fractures in my spine. I have been undergoing treatment with Dr. Bocchino for this and am now functioning well enough to be able to swim, ride a bike, sail and above all else sneeze without blinding searing pain!!!"
    Gene M