Have you ever wondered why your back pain, foot pain, knee pain or neck pain increases during the holidays?
It may not seem like you’re doing anything to irritate those symptoms, especially if you have taken time off from work, but your body is telling you something different!
Let’s take foot pain for example. We do a lot of shopping, cooking, and cleaning around the holidays which may not seem strenuous, however, if you do not have supportive shoes, you may be causing increased pain.
Before the holidays assess your footwear:
Was it purchased within the past 3-5 years?
Is there any wear and tear on the rubber sole or worn-down areas along the insole?
Is it supportive and firm when walking in them?
These are great questions to ask yourself when you know your activity level is about to increase.
By identifying factors that contribute to the increased pain and correcting them, you may be able to improve those pain symptoms before they even occur. You may even consult with a physical therapist about the need for inserts or additional support in your shoes.
Back pain increases as our activity level does
Many of us suffer from back pain and must be careful with bending, lifting, twisting or even standing too long. Perhaps you had your back pain under control for months only to start feeling pain return recently.
When the holidays are here, we are more active, we stand for longer periods, we sit and wrap gifts with poor posture, we lift heavy packages from one place to another.
This is another opportunity for us to have a plan, to think ahead, to ask questions and to be prepared so we can avoid increased pain or even a new injury.
A physical therapist can assist you in improving your body mechanics and your core strength to better tolerate these more demanding times.
They can teach you different ways of performing activities such as using a high surface so that you can stand while wrapping gifts, bringing someone to the store with you when you know you will be making big purchases to assist in the lifting or asking for staff assistance as soon as you arrive so they know you will need help.
Stretching can prevent injuries
A good stretching program is always important and should be done before and after any activity to reduce the risk of injury and pain. A physical therapist can create a stretching program just for you that allows you to improve your mobility and function.
We all want to be happy and healthy so we can enjoy the holidays with our family and friends. Don’t forget that a physical therapist can help you prepare and recover from the holidays with one-on-one, hour-long sessions. And, Aquacare Physical Therapy is just down the road in Berlin, offering both gym-based and aquatic physical therapy to help you move easily, and pain-free, again.