If you have back pain, you may be dreading the holidays. You may end up traveling long distances in a car or taking a plane to a relative’s home town. You can already imagine how uncomfortable you will be and how stiff your spine will feel at the journey’s end. And then there may be sleeping in a strange bed, chairs that aren’t comfortable; the list of ways your pain can be induced to ruin your holiday are endless. But, take heart, here are a few tips that may get you through the holidays with a minimum of pain and stiffness.
Yes, your spine needs good nutrition if it is to combat the stresses put upon it. Therefore, eat foods that reduce inflammation. There are plenty and they are easy to remember. Some are even your favorite Thanksgiving foods, such as sweet potatoes.
The rule for identifying anti-inflammatory foods is simple: vegetables (the greener the better) and fruits (the more brightly colored the better). Kale, broccoli and spinach are tops as anti-inflammatory vegetables and beets, cherries, berries and grapes are great fruits. Don’t forget your herbs and spices. To combat inflammation, onions, garlic, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric are excellent examples of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices. And don’t forget to take your calcium and wash it down with a green or white tea.
Though you may end up in a confined space for an hour or so before you arrive at your destination, don’t worry, you can stretch in those confined spaces with no problem. Remember that stretching is exactly that, stretching. If you have neck or shoulder pain all you have to do is stretch those muscles. They don’t have to be exercised on the road; you can do that when you get to your destination. Just simple movements like tipping your neck to the side until you feel a stretch and holding it for 20 seconds can help prevent that crick from developing and ruining your holiday.
Also, with driving long distances or even sitting with the damily, standing can do wonders. Get up frequently and take short walks. Take the dog out, go to a nearby store, walk with some family. It’s something that gets ignored and often could prevent many injuries or pains due to inactivity.
There’s many great ways to exercise. This website and other across the internet have great ideas. The two most important factors is consistency and safety. Don’t run a 5K after months of inactivity. Don’t ride your bike after Thanksgiving dinner. A lot of it comes down to common sense. Establish exercise goals during the holidays and have someone help you stay accountable. They can be a stressful time and exercise can help relieve that as well.
If you’d like more Holiday survival tips, schedule a consultation today and we’ll give you even more great tips!