Holidays are stressful enough without the prospect of worrying about pain management in winter. While many of us can look forward to a few days off to enjoy time with family and friends, getting to that point seems fraught with urgency and rushed decisions, sometimes leading to more aches and pains than we need. An already hectic schedule compounded by a lengthy holiday to-do list could bring out the Grinch in you, but if you take a deep breath and plan ahead, you can enjoy the season in comfort.
The best way to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and/or New Year’s Eve is the way that keeps you healthy and happy. If you find yourself caught up in a maelstrom of activity that threatens to flare up your joints, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Decorate with care. Look around some neighborhoods and it appears at least one household wants to outdo the Grizwolds and be seen from space. If holiday decorations are an important part of your traditions, you should enjoy decking the halls without wincing in pain. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help if assembling your tree or light system is too much for you this year. Let somebody else climb the ladder while you supervise and handle the less stressful tasks.
Shop safely. It’s fun to wrap gifts for loved ones and watch their excited expressions. Shopping for said gifts…well, it can be an adventure depending on how last-minute your schedule takes you. If the idea of braving the crowds pains you as much as the actual physical hurt you risk, consider your online shopping options. Also, check your favorite stores to determine their off-peak hours so you can shop freely, or to see if they offer a curbside service that brings your purchases straight to your car.
Plan travel for comfort. Is this the year you visit the relatives? Travel can aggravate your back and neck any time of year, so it’s a good idea to be prepared if you know you have to drive or fly. Break up long car drives by stopping to stretch your legs and take in fresh air. If you’re flying, move around the gate area as you wait for your flight – just be mindful of obstacles. If you can get an aisle seat, all the better for you to stand and stretch when you need it. Bring a lumbar support and/or neck pillow to ease the discomfort of prolonged sitting.
The winter holiday season is statistically one of the highest for accident and injuries. The rush to balance work and holiday tasks can lead to problems and unnecessary pain. If you have concerns about arthritis flares and shoulder and knee pain, contact a specialist today, and be safe this season.