Woman with back pain consulting physician.

Do the Holidays Hurt your back?

The excitement and joy of the holidays are too often accompanied by stress: Where did we store the lights? Didn’t we give that same gift to Aunt Bessie last year? How could you forget to thaw the turkey? Though we expect the happy hustle and bustle to contain a few moments of anxiety or frustration, most of us don’t expect back pain. Unfortunately, too many of us will be troubled by it, before, during, or after the merry-making.

If you live on Long Island and are experiencing back pain, at holiday time or any time, Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine is the place to come. From our five conveniently located offices in Nassau and Suffolk County, our physiatrists offer a wide variety of nonsurgical treatments to alleviate or eliminate acute or chronic back pain. 

Reasons the Holidays Can Be Hard on Your Back

Even if there is not yet any snow to shovel, preparing for and celebrating can create new back problems or worsen existing ones. The following factors may contribute to your difficulties:

  • Shopping

Standing on check-out lines, particularly while carrying packages, can strain your back. In addition, busy streets and shopping malls make parking difficult so you may be carrying your parcels some distance.

  • Lifting 

While jewelry and clothing do not require heavy lifting, gifts of tools, dishes, lamps, electronic devices, or small appliances often do. Even if you order gifts delivered, unless you are hosting the celebration, you may have to lift and carry them to the festivities 

If the gathering is taking place in your own home, you may stress your back moving furniture to accommodate guests or even just putting the turkey in the oven. And don’t forget that you will be helping guests by relieving them of packages, food, and heavy coats as they arrive.

  • Traveling 

Walking long distances in airports or train stations while wheeling luggage and carrying gifts stresses the back, especially when there are also babies to carry or toddlers whose hands need holding. However you travel, you may be sitting for a long period of time. While cars typically offer more comfortable seating than airplanes or trains, holiday traffic may increase the time you spend without stretching or changing position — a curse for those with back issues.

  • Decorating

Locating decorations (usually way in the back of the attic or basement), reaching to place ornaments in high places or climbing and stretching to hang lights along the eaves and bushes — any of these can cause a back injury. 

  • Overeating and Weight Gain

Heavy meals, too many sweets, and the resulting weight gain may all contribute not only to digestive discomfort but to back pain as well. If instead of “walking it off,” you lounge around slouching after the big meal, you may make things worse.

  • Emotional Stress 

However pleasant it is to spend extended time with family members, it can also be stressful. In these days of COVID, inflation, and political turmoil, conversations at the dinner table can be more charged than usual. In addition, financial problems, exacerbated by holiday spending may contribute to your tension. As our doctors will explain, tension causes an involuntary tightening of muscles that contributes to low back pain. 

If you are suffering back pain during the holidays, turn to the physicians of Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. Our excellent diagnosticians will locate the source of the problem and recommend a treatment plan customized to meet your particular needs. We may suggest, alone or in combination: physical therapy, acupuncture, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, corticosteroid injections, or pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), all of which are effective (minimally invasive) methods of relieving back pain. 

Contact Our Highly Skilled Back Pain Doctors to Keep Your Holidays Bright

Our approach is pragmatic and holistic; our primary focus is making you more comfortable and restoring your ability to resume your normal routine. Don’t suffer unnecessary pain. Call us today so you can enjoy the holidays and be pain-free during the New Year.