Preventing Neck Pain During the Holidays

neck pain at christmas

Is a pain-free Christmas all you wish for this year?

Preventing Neck Pain During the Holidays

Christmas and New Year can be very stressful times, with lots of things to do, social activities to attend to, shopping, visiting family, office parties, and many changes to your normal routine that can compromise your nutrition, exercise, and healthy regimes leading to increased risk of neck pain. Throw in the fact you have a chronic condition such as spinal stenosis, cervical arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or a bulging disc, and this all becomes even harder to manage without doing yourself some damage. Below are some top tips for neck pain relief during the holiday season.

Neck Pain, and Holiday Indulgences

We all like to indulge a little at Christmas, with the average American gaining about 8lbs over the holiday period, and this can have an impact on your levels of pain and your enjoyment of the festivities. Obesity, neck pain, and back pain are linked; those who are overweight produce more inflammatory cytokines, making pain levels higher than for their slimmer counterparts. More weight also puts more strain on your muscles and skeleton, which can trigger flare-ups of an underlying condition, or exacerbate a bulging disc to the point of herniation. Making sure to keep your diet healthy, not to overindulge at office parties, or drink too much mulled wine can help to keep that extra, problematic, weight off. Sticking to your gym routine might be tricky if the weather conspires against you, but gentle exercise such as walking can help prevent joints from stiffening up and keep you feeling energetic and pain-free during Christmas.

Neck Pain and Shopping Safely

Neck Pain Shopping

Neck Pain from Shopping

Trawling the shops might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but it seems to be a necessity at Christmas for a lot of people. Carrying awkward presents, or heavy bags, can put pressure on your spine and strain your shoulder muscles, leading to neck and shoulder pain, exacerbation of musculoskeletal conditions like fibromyalgia, and increasing the likelihood of disc herniation and pinched nerves in the neck. Take things as easy as you can, try to distribute weight evenly by using a suitable sized backpack, or snazzy shopping trolley, and give your overburdened shoulders a rest by having a well-earned tea break mid shopping-spree. This will also have the added benefit of keeping you warm, as winter chills can lead to back and neck pain, and even a stiff neck.

Neck Pain and Christmas – Preparation is Key

Wrap up well in those winter-woolens and if you plan on sitting at any carol recitals or brass band performances. Remember to take a thick blanket or cushion to sit on to prevent a numb or painful posterior, particularly if you have lumbar spinal stenosis and sciatica due to degenerative disc disease throughout the spine. Wearing comfortable shoes, possibly with orthopedic inserts, can really help if you intend to be out walking from one store to another as these can help prevent strain on your back which can lead to postural changes and neck pain. Avoiding those high heels could mean the difference between spending the next day in bed and enjoying the school play you were hoping to attend.

Decorating for Christmas with Neck Pain

Wearing sensible shoes is also good advice for when hanging Christmas decorations. Tottering in three inch heels on a rickety stool whilst stretching into the window to hang that final snowflake is just asking for trouble. Make sure to have someone help, use a safe ladder, and do not overstretch. No one really cares if the tinsel is slightly lopsided, or if Santa’s hat is a little askew. Blame it on the sherry. Speaking of sherry, be careful of that mistletoe as bending down, or stretching up, for that Christmas kiss will be a lot less romantic if you herniate a disc in the process. The tried and tested method of standing on a phone directory should help; safety first remember.

Neck Pain, Drugs, and Alcohol

Many of you with chronic or acute neck pain will be managing the pain through NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, and other analgesics and anti-inflammatories. Mixing these with alcohol is not the best idea as they can overtax the liver and cause, or exacerbate, further side-effects and long-term damage. Mixing alcohol with muscle relaxants for neck pain is a particularly bad idea. Alcohol itself is an inflammatory agent and can make pain worse… especially if coupled with an excruciating hangover. It is also dehydrating and can increase the likelihood of you smoking, even if you’ve quit. Both dehydration and smoking are key risk factors for disc degeneration.

Coping with Neck Pain at Christmas

Whilst a steaming mug of mulled wine will usually cause few problems, downing a whole bottle of Christmas Chianti to cope with the family is unlikely to do anyone any favors. In addition, alcohol does not have the best reputation for leading to clear and rational thinking. Sledging down a bank on a misappropriated road-sign after a few too many is a sure-fire way to incur some kind of spinal injury, and dancing all night to Christmas tunes can also stress the neck in numerous ways. Moderation is key for most things, whilst some things simply need avoiding. If you’re on medications that say ‘do not take with alcohol’ remember that this is designed to protect your health, not just spoil your fun.

Whiplash, Neck Pain, and Icy Christmas Road Conditions

The winter weather often causes people problems with driving, and poor visibility coupled with icy roads can lead to more accidents than usual. Even a minor bump can cause whiplash or exacerbate spinal stenosis, and disc bulging, that is already present. Symptoms often do not show up straight away, sometimes only appearing a few days after the incident and remaining unconnected by the sufferer to that little prang on the way to the shops. If you have a collision, however minor, it is important to get checked out as fractures of the vertebrae, disc compression and herniation, and ligament damage can all cause chronic neck pain, dizziness, and other symptoms of whiplash associated disorder if they are not addressed. Drive safely and make sure to have snow-chains on as appropriate. If the weather is too bad to go out, don’t, not even to get that last-minute gift for the cousin you forgot was coming to dinner.

Back Care at Christmas

Remember your limits. If you have a chronic condition such as spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, or cervical arthritis, Christmas does not magically make that disappear and allow you to become an all-night party animal. Dancing the Charleston, CanCan, or doing the Locomotion, may be fun at the time, but your body will not thank you for all that twisting and turning the next day. Remember to take your neck pain medications and that alcohol does not always mix well with these. Try not to start any new treatments for neck pain at this time of year as the stress and alteration to routine is unlikely to give a fair appraisal of their efficacy.

Neck Pain Nutrition

Additionally, sugary sweets and drinks, like eggnog, hot-chocolate, and alcohol, cause increased inflammation in the body, which is likely to make your joint pain worse. If you’re taking antacids for hangovers, remember that these can compromise nutrient absorption from every accompanying meal. Coupled with lack of sunlight and, perhaps, a less nutritionally balanced diet due to special Christmas treats, this time of year can find many people with low vitamin D levels, with ramifications for musculoskeletal pain, poor immune-system regulation, and poor mineralization of the bones. If you have neck surgery scheduled for the new year then you should discuss this with your physician as evidence is mounting that low vitamin D levels are linked to failed back surgery syndrome. Eating oily fish, such as herring, or mackerel, or taking a supplement should ensure you are getting enough of this vital vitamin.

Relaxation for Neck Pain at Christmas

Stay wrapped up warm, use heat-pads, and have relaxing hot baths with a little lavender and rosemary oil mixed in to aid neck muscle relaxation. Bend at the knees, keeping your back straight, when lifting the oversized turkey out of the oven or, better yet, get someone without neck pain to do the heavy lifting. Don’t spend too long trying to beat the kids at their new bowling game on the Wii, but remember to get some regular exercise, be it walking, yoga, or cycling with neck pain. Above all, have fun, as happiness and laughter are two of the best painkillers we have at our disposal!

2638 replies
  1. says:

    I’m very happy to find this site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!!
    I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have
    you saved to fav to see new stuff on your site.

  2. says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually understand what
    you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally
    consult with my web site =). We may have a hyperlink
    change arrangement between us

  3. says:

    Thank you, I have recently been looking for information about this
    topic for a while and yours is the best I’ve found out
    till now. However, what about the conclusion? Are you certain about the source?

  4. says:

    Howdy this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to
    know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get advice from
    someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. says:

    I blog quite often and I really thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

    I will book mark your site and keep checking for new
    details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  6. says:

    That is a really good tip particularly to those new to
    the blogosphere. Simple but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  7. says:

    It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be happy.

    I have learn this submit and if I could I wish to
    counsel you some interesting issues or advice. Perhaps you can write
    next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  8. says:

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff
    from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.

  9. says:

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across
    this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  10. says:

    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I
    get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb blog!

  11. says:

    Hi there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re
    working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different
    internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  12. says:

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll send this article to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  13. says:

    Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let
    you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not
    sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different
    web browsers and both show the same results.

  14. says:

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your blog?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe
    you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  15. says:

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that
    you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come
    further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  16. says:

    Attractive section of content. I simply stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to
    assert that I get actually loved account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment or
    even I success you access persistently fast.

  17. special
    special says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous
    blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    Here is my web blog: special

  18. says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I
    should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to looking into your web page for a second time.

  19. fasilitas belajar
    fasilitas belajar says:

    Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity to your post is just excellent and that i can suppose you are knowledgeable in this subject. Well together with your permission let me to grasp your RSS feed to keep updated with approaching post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  20. โทนเนอร์
    โทนเนอร์ says:

    Great blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  21. Fim das Pragas
    Fim das Pragas says:

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  22. kbc lottery number check online
    kbc lottery number check online says:

    I’m impressed, I need to say. Actually not often do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the issue is something that not sufficient persons are talking intelligently about. I am very blissful that I stumbled throughout this in my search for one thing regarding this.

  23. slot hoki
    slot hoki says:

    After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  24. discord hackers 2022
    discord hackers 2022 says:

    Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness on your post is simply great and i can assume you’re a professional on this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to take hold of your RSS feed to keep up to date with imminent post. Thank you a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  25. Rock Print
    Rock Print says:

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

  26. 7xl הפקדה
    7xl הפקדה says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Cheers!

  27. margin calculator
    margin calculator says:

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I may I want to recommend you few attention-grabbing issues or tips. Maybe you can write subsequent articles relating to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  28. banda para casamento preço
    banda para casamento preço says:

    certainly like your web site but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality however I will certainly come back again.

  29. jual subarashi
    jual subarashi says:

    Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  30. cartao premio
    cartao premio says:

    Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  31. spa
    spa says:

    I really appreciate this post. I?¦ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

  32. Estimulador Archenemy Bluetooth
    Estimulador Archenemy Bluetooth says:

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a great website.

  33. Kkslot777
    Kkslot777 says:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  34. Fungame777
    Fungame777 says:

    I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i am happy to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don’t forget this website and give it a look on a constant basis.