Have you ever wondered why your back pain, foot pain, knee pain and/or neck pain increases during the holiday time? 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 a supportive shoe you may be causing the increase in pain. Prior to the holiday’s 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 if needed!
Another example would be back pain. Many of us suffer from back pain and must be careful with bending, lifting, twisting or even standing too long. When the holidays are here, we are more active, we stand for longer periods of time, 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 this painful time. 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. A good stretching program is always important and should be done before and after any activity to improve risk of injury and pain. A physical therapist can devise a stretching program just for you to improve your pain and function!
We all want to be happy and healthy and enjoy the holidays with our family and friends. Don’t forget that a physical therapist can help you recover from the holidays by helping you to reduce your pain!
Are you suffering from pain or having difficulty recovering from the holidays? Click her to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our physical therapists! https://aquacarephysicaltherapy.com/free-consultation/
Tessa Doughty PTA has been with Aquacare for over 10 years. She is the clinical director of our Salisbury location.