Traveling for the holidays to see your loved ones? Dr. A has some great tips for you to make sure the holidays don't put your spine in a bind!!
Tip #1: Ask for help! We all want to be the next Martha Stewart and take beautiful pictures of our Thanksgiving tables and be the perfect host. However, shopping, cooking, preparing, standing on your feet & then the after-meal clean up can cause not only stress on your mental health, but on your spine & rest of your body too! If you are planning on having guests or family over for the holidays, make it a potluck and drop the illusion that everything is going to be picture perfect. Your body will thank you!
Tip #2: Pace yourself. You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth repeating: when we are feeling good, we tend to overdue and then pay a painful price the next day.
Take the time to plan ahead. If you love to cook like me, remember that many side dishes can be prepped a day or two ahead of time, place a sticky note on top with the proper degrees & cook time so the day of, you can just throw your side dishes in without mounds of dishes building in the sink.
Distraction is a great pain reliever, so make sure you check in with yourself often to see how you are doing, to better gauge what you can do, and what can be passed off to other people for your health's sake.
Tip #3. Diet. Watch out for the extra sugar, carbs, and gluten during the holiday season. (Some of you may be thinking....Yea right!!!!) We all tend to gain weight in the winter (especially if you live in cold weather climates), but extra weight also puts extra strain on your spine’s facet joints; as well as it will inflame your joints causing extra soreness & sickness.
Tip #4: Dr. A's Favorite!!!! Keep up with the doctors recommendations! Ice your back and neck 20 minutes/day & drink your water! If you are driving long distance, get a couple freezer bags to put in your glove compartment, when you stop for food or gas, bring bags in and fill up at the crushed ice fountain drink place & ice for 20 minutes while in the car. When the ice melts, just pour out the window & store them back in your glove compartment!!! Likewise, if you are flying, same concept! Store the freezer bags in your purse or carry-on & once you get passed TSA, fill up your ice bags at the local starbucks for free & then dispose once on the plane.
Final Words of Advice:
The holidays can be a stressful time, but they also can be a restorative time of seeing family and friends. People who suffer from chronic pain have had to learn to work around the illusion of a picture-perfect holiday—pain flares happen. By being flexible, taking the pressure off yourself, asking for help, getting adjusted before your travels and shortly after you come back as well as trying to eat right and exercise (when you can), you can have a less stressful holiday!
Happy Thanksgiving from our Restoration family to yours! Be safe and we will resume normal business hours Monday, December 2nd.