Black Friday is almost here, which means that many of us will soon be shopping for holiday presents, either at brick-and-mortar stores or online. Obviously the holidays aren’t supposed to feel stressful, but there is much to do, and financial worries can become overwhelming during this costly season.

Many patients want to know how to avoid pain during holidays’ month-plus string of stressors. We offer the below recommendations to keep you strong and relatively free of discomfort, so you can focus on family and the spirit of the season:

Avoid chronic pain flareups over the holidays

  1. Break up the driving – You may need to drive a distance to get to the mall where you want to do your shopping. Be aware that the way you have to hold your body in order to drive can be difficult on OA (osteoarthritis) in the knees. The spine can become aggravated as well, leading to back pain. If you have to drive any more than 60 minutes, consider pulling over for a couple minutes along the way and performing some simple stretches.
  2. Break up the shopping – You want to build respite into the actual shopping as well. Quickly moving from store to store can result in aching legs and feet. Avoid chronic pain with short recovery periods on a bench, possibly while enjoying a refreshment.
  3. Break up the carrying – Of course, shopping isn’t just about being on your feet. It’s also about lugging around your various purchases. A great way to avoid chronic pain is to resist the urge to go to three places at once. Every time you buy something new, consider dropping it off in the car and lightening your load.
  4. Skip the rush – Another way to prevent pain during holidays’ shopping sprees is to go at less congested times. Try to get to the store when lines are shorter to keep your stress low and make the process more efficient, so you aren’t on your feet all day.
  5. Correct your virtual posture – You can shop on the Internet if you like, which saves gas and means you won’t have to stand in checkout lines. However, when sitting at a computer, you are especially vulnerable to experience back pain – one reason LBP (lower back pain) is the number one cause of disability worldwide. Practice stronger ergonomics by keeping your knees, hips, and elbows at 90° angles. Stop regularly to stretch.

Partner for comfort through the holidays

Taking steps to avoid pain is just one strategy for recovery. At Advanced Wellness & Rehab, we are so committed to guiding you toward a pain-free life that, beyond offering a free consultation, we answer questions personally: (316) 942-5335.