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Holiday Guide to Back Care

Parties. Gift shopping. Family gatherings. Curling up to watch a favorite movie on the couch…. The holiday season is full of reasons for good cheer. And yet, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, it is also prime time for Americans to suffer from back and neck pain.

For one thing, the stress associated with extra obligations during the holidays can increase muscle tension, aggravating any existing condition. But there are also a number of common seasonal activities— such as entertaining, shopping, and wrapping gifts— that can lead directly to back and neck pain. Here are a few tips from the American Chiropractic Association to help you stay pain free this holiday season.

At home (or visiting a friend or relative’s home):

  • Sit in a firm but comfortable chair, and pay attention to posture while entertaining friends and family or watching television. Spending hours on too-soft sofas in poor posture can cause imbalances along the spine.
  • Don’t cook, clean, and talk on the phone all at once— unless you have a headset. Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can lead to muscle tension and neck pain.

While shopping:

  • Make yourself comfortable. Prevent unnecessary body tension by wearing supportive shoes and non-restrictive clothing.
  • Leave your overstuffed purse at home. Instead, wear a fanny pack or take a small wallet containing only the essentials— credit card, driver’s license, and your gift list of course.
  • Don’t try to carry too much at once. Make frequent visits to your car to unload bags, if necessary. For larger items, don’t be shy— ask your sales clerk for help!
  • Remember, shopping can be an endurance sport, so treat yourself right after a long day of shopping. Stretch your muscles and take a hot shower or bath to release tension that may have accumulated during the day.

Wrapping gifts:

  • Wrap presents at a table. While spreading out on the floor may be fun and convenient, it encourages poor posture and tension.

Sticking to a routine of physical activity, getting adequate rest, and eating well will also help relieve stress and tension during the holidays. Above all, relax! It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, your family, and your back. And if you do experience neck or back pain, be sure to fit an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic into your busy schedule.

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I'm a young and fairly active woman. I started having a pain in my hip area and thought it was a pinched nerve or something. This went on about once a month for about four months. The pain was getting stronger every time this would happen. The last time it happened the pain was so bad it put me into tears! I didn't want to go to a doc in the box because I figured they would just prescribe me pain pills and not fix the problem... whatever that would be. My Office Manager suggested that I go to Dr.Klena. She and the staff here at my new job all used him. Idaho Chiropractic got me in first thing in the morning and took good care of me. Come to find out it was from a previous car accident and when I had started playing golf four months earlier I was just irritating that hip and inflamed some tissue in that joint. Dr.Klena made a complete plan for me that included adjustments, ultra sounds, stretching and strengthening on top of a payment plan! I'm fixed and so grateful that they could do it without medicating me.

Thank you Dr.Klena and Staff!

Summer K.
Boise, ID


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