Neck Pain Over the Holidays

avoid holiday neck pain

Neck Pain Over the Holidays

Protecting your neck over the holidays


The holidays can be hard on your neck. Traveling, hosting guests, setting up decorations, and attending family events may require your body to move in ways it’s not used to doing. These activities can result in stiffness, soreness, or a sharp pain in the neck.

Try these 4 tips to help keep your neck healthy and happy this holiday season.


1. Pack and travel smart

If you travel this holiday season, you may have to carry luggage or sit in a cramped space for a long time, causing neck pain. Here are some ways to protect your neck while you travel:

Use a neck pillow. A travel-sized neck pillow helps keep your neck straight and upright so it doesn’t accidentally bend in an uncomfortable position.

Pack in multiple bags. Lifting luggage that’s too heavy can easily stress or injure your neck. Pack your travel items in multiple small bags instead of 1 large, heavy bag. Ask someone to help you take luggage in and out of your trunk or the overhead compartment on an airplane.

Bring heat/ice therapy. Heat therapy encourages blood flow and can reduce neck stiffness, and ice therapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation. So pack a heating pad, disposable heat wraps, and an ice wrap (or empty plastic bags you can later fill with ice) to use in case neck pain flares up.


2. Stick to a nutritious diet and exercise

The holiday season can throw off your daily routine, and exercise is often the first item to get cut from a shifting schedule. Eating habits often change this time of the year, too, as many people enjoy home-cooked meals and delicious desserts with family and friends.

But if you commit to exercising and eating nutritiously over the holidays, your neck will thank you. A balanced diet, which includes adequate protein and plenty of fresh vegetables, supplies vitamins and healing properties that your soft tissues need. And an exercise program can help improve your cervical spine’s strength and flexibility, which may reduce the risk for neck pain.


3. Save your energy and know your limits

Before the holidays arrive, consider which traditions and festivities are worth doing and which are too demanding. Some holiday activities, such as stringing up lights, baking cookies, and washing dishes are all physically strenuous and can cause or worsen neck pain.

Listen to what your body is telling you and decide ahead of time which activities to skip. Ask your family, friends, or neighbors to help carry out difficult chores. Take some time for yourself this holiday season, relaxing in bed with a good book or soaking in a warm bath.


4. Ask for gifts that help relieve neck pain

If you exchange gifts with loved ones to celebrate the holidays, here are a few items you can put on your wishlist:

Massage therapy gift certificate. Massage therapy, such as a Swedish massage or deep tissue massage, can help you relax, encourage blood flow to your soft tissues, and reduce your perception of pain.

Pillow. The right pillow is the one that has just the right height and firmness for you and will help keep your neck in a supported position with neutral alignment.

Neck massage device. If you want to treat neck pain at home, you can bring the massage to you. Research the best neck massagers and muscle rollers on the market.

Neck pain can be especially difficult to handle during the holiday season. Using this list, you can try a few tips to see what helps you find relief.


Originally published on Spine-Health



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Back Pain Xcell Medical Elyria

5 Ways to Help Stop Back Pain

 

Roughly 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point during their lives.

 

Women, in particular, are prone to posture and back problems—thanks to toting around outrageously heavy purses, going through pregnancy, or giving one-hip rides to kids.

Whether you’re in the midst of fighting the ache or just want to prevent it, here are some expert-endorsed quick-and-easy ways to wage your war to stop back pain.

 

Pass the broccoli, please

broccoli vitamin k back painYou know that calcium is key for strong bones, but Japanese researchers have identified something else you need: Vitamin K.

It’s believed that the vitamin, found in broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens, helps calcium deposit in the bones, making them denser. The stronger your bones, the stronger your whole body—and the lower your chances of an injury that could cause back pain.

 

Lighten your load

woman with purse lighten your load back painIf your purse or briefcase tips the scales at more than 10% of your weight, it’s too heavy. And you need to carry it right.

Your best bet is a model with a long strap that lets you position it across your chest like a messenger bag. Can’t part with your shorter-strapped number? Switch shoulders every 20 minutes.

 

Sleep right

more sleep stop back painA harder bed may not be better for your back. A recent study in Spine found that people who slept on softer beds reported less lower-back pain than those who snoozed on harder ones.

Pillows? Yours shouldn’t raise your head out of alignment with your spine. How to tell: If you’re a back sleeper, your chin shouldn’t press into your chest. If you’re a side sleeper, it shouldn’t curve up toward your shoulder.

 

Tighten those abs

pelvic tilt core stop back painHaving strong core muscles (we’re talking abs here) can help protect your back from injury.

Do this core-strengthening pelvic tilt 2 to 3 times per week: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and lower back flattened. Pull in your belly button toward your spine, contracting your abs; your pelvis should lift slightly off the floor.

Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 reps.

 

Aim for good posture

stop back pain desk postureSitting at a desk for eight (or more) hours a day can really do a number on your back. Make sure to sit with your back against your chair (get a lumbar pillow if your chair doesn’t allow this) and both feet flat on the floor.

Another option: Try using a stability ball as your desk chair—good posture is a must just to stay on the thing. Start off slow (20 minutes at a time), and if it feels good, stick with it.

Originally published on Health

 

These 5 Tips not enough? 

Call today to help stop back pain and get your life back! 

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