Following strong recommendations from the CDC and other organizations to refrain from travel this Thanksgiving holiday, more families are likely to handle all festivities at home. It goes without saying that Thanksgiving dinner is no ordinary meal, either. You may expect more prep, cooking, and cleanup than usual, and if you live with chronic joint pain you may wonder if flare ups will become an issue.
While holidays evoke togetherness and celebration, stress may also play a role, and this year is no exception. With proper pain management, however, you can enjoy the extended Thanksgiving weekend with your immediate family.
Plan ahead. Mapping out a schedule for everything on your Thanksgiving to-do list can help relieve added strain to your body. Prioritize various tasks — shopping, cooking, holiday decorations — so everything doesn’t happen at once. This way, you’re less likely to rush and risk injury or irritation. Also be mindful of your body when bringing out heavy boxes of seasonal items, or bending in the kitchen to retrieve utensils and cookware.
Move. Exercise is good for the joints. Movement lubricates the joints and helps to reduce aches and stiffness. If you have the holiday off, start the morning with a brisk walk and/or stretches to keep you limber throughout the day. This holiday weekend in particular inspires extra time on the couch; be careful not to fall into that trap.
Recruit. Holiday plans are executed best when everybody lends a hand. Don’t feel obligated to take on all the responsibilities on a day off. Have others in your household pitch in with setup, cleaning, and early Christmas decorating if that is part of your Thanksgiving tradition. The more helping hands involved, the less strain on yours.
At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our doctors and physical therapists care for patients with joint fractures, arthritis, back pain, and similar conditions. Joint pain doesn’t take a holiday, and if you need help we are ready to provide it. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and treatments.