How to Avoid Holiday Back Pain

 

Holiday Back Pain

It’s the holiday season, known for its bright lights, presents, family time, and celebration. But here at SpineCenterAtlanta, it’s also known for its surprisingly high spike in back pain. Holiday back pain is a common challenge that affects thousands of Atlantans every year. For those that already struggle with back pain, make sure you take precautions so that your holiday isn’t ruined by holiday back discomfort.

Why is the Holidays Prone to Back Pain?

There are many different reasons that the holidays are prone to back pain. Some of them are even for “fun” reasons, but back pain doesn’t necessarily care that you’re having a good time. The most common causes of holiday back pain include: Back Pain from Traveling

  • Traveling – Sitting on a plane or in a car can put a lot of pressure on the back.
  • Lifting – Lifting heavy presents or moving furniture for guests can create back pain.
  • Hanging Decorations – Decorating a home often means contorting the lower back.
  • Stress – Holidays can be stressful, from planning to family to finances.
  • Lounging – For those that are able to relax, lounging too often can also cause aches.

These are only some of the many different changes that take place over the holidays, all of which can contribute to unexpected or more severe back pain.

Tips to Avoid Back Pain This Holiday Season

  • Know Your Limits – If you haven’t been able to lift heavy items or stretch to the ceiling in several years, it may not be time to start now. Be gentle and careful when you lift gifts, hang up items, or perform other activities and avoid doing anything your body is not ready for.
  • Rest Often – When some degree of work is unavoidable (such as cleaning the house for guests), make sure you do not do it all at once. Let yourself rest every once in a while and recover. If you still have your strength and energy, you will be less likely to overwork your muscles.
  • Eat Well and Drink Water – Vitamins and hydration are always important for combatting back pain, and yet during the holidays it’s not uncommon to eat only fattening family foods while drinking only a few eggnogs and champagne.
  • Relax (with Walking) – The holidays can be stressful. Make sure you take some time for yourself to relax and relieve some of that stress and tension. If you are okay braving the colder air, try taking some relaxing walks so that you’re not also lounging too frequently.
  • Prioritize You – Much of the holiday time is spent catering to other people. From buying expensive gifts that cause you financial stress to trying to make the house look good for guests. But you’ll struggle to enjoy the fruits of that labor if you’re not prioritizing yourself. If you need to spend less, move less, stretch, or even take time away from everyone to relax, it is worth it to prevent your back discomfort.

Avoid Holiday Back Pain

The holiday season is meant to be something for you and your family to enjoy. But few can enjoy it when struggling with back pain. This year, try to avoid engaging in back pain causing activities, and have a great holiday from us here at Spine Center Atlanta.

5 Ways to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Sciatica Nerve Pain

Sciatica is a common, chronic pain that affects many adults as they get older. It is a pain that often does not go away on its own, and over time it can lead to discomfort and distress that affects your quality of life.

If you struggle with sciatica, it is important to find some type of treatment. But what treatments are best? Below, we explore some of the most common treatments for sciatica that you may want to consider to reduce or eliminate your sciatica pain.

Treatments for Sciatica

  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture is rooted in Ancient Chinese medicine as a treatment for chronic pain. Very small, sterilized needles are inserted into very specific points in the body to help balance the flow of energy and trigger pain reduction. Several studies have shown success in using acupuncture to help with sciatica nerve pain – especially if warming acupuncture is used.
  • Massage – For many, massage represents a more calming form of pain relief from sciatica. Massage works by relieving tension in the muscles – especially the middle and lower back. When these muscles are more relaxed, less pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve. It is also useful for loosening stiff muscles for more natural movement.
  • Yoga – Yoga has been shown to be an effective long term sciatica management solution. It is not clear in the yoga stretched for sciaticaresearch why yoga is so effective, but experts believe that yoga helps loosen the muscles, and may give people more control over their movements in a way that reduces pressure on the sciatic nerve. Only specific poses are recommended, however, so be sure and speak with experts in sciatic nerve yoga.
  • Surgery – With the right care, some sciatic nerve pain can be reduced or eliminated with these above relief options. But for some patients with severe sciatica that have not been able to find relief, surgery is also available. Surgery is very effective for sciatic nerve pain, with results that last for 4+ years. Yet because of recovery time and surgical risks – especially in older adults – it is strongly recommended you try other options first.
  • Basic Self-Care – Stretching, hot and cold packs, and reducing pressure on the nerve can all assist in sciatica relief. For some patients, simply monitoring their symptoms and maintaining best practices can be enough to relief – and in some cases, stop – sciatica pain. It is still a good idea to speak with a specialist in order to determine what steps you should take for your sciatic nerve pain.

These are only some of the possible solutions for controlling sciatica, with additional options available at SpineCenterAtlanta. If you’re interested in learning more about sciatica relief, please contact us for more information.