Monday, November 19, 2012

Steer Clear of Back Pain from Holiday Shopping

Steer Clear of Back Pain from Holiday Shopping

The busiest shopping season is fast approaching and even though your wallet will probably get lighter, it’s not always easy on your spine. Being on your feet for extending periods of time can cause irritating back pain and muscle aches. This is especially true if you’re spending a whole day on your feet carrying heavy bags.

If you want to avoid dealing with back pain this holiday season, here’s some information that might help.

Back Pain from Prolonged Standing

Whether you’re walking through the mall all day, or standing around as your wife browses for what seems like hours in the shoe department, it can strain your back. Prolonged standing and shifting your weight from one leg to the other can irritate the joints and muscles in your spine. When one of your legs supports more weight than the other, the vertebrae in your spine shift and can sometimes get stuck in that flexed position. This can create spine pain that’s usually felt near the hip or lower back.

If this tends to happen to you, avoid shifting your weight from one leg to the other. Instead, stand straight with weight equally divided amongst both legs. If you can, find a chair or bench to sit on. This will give your spine a break and relieve some of the pressure standing induces on your back muscles and joints.

Back Pain from Heavy Bags

Another culprit of back pain while shopping is carrying heavy bags. Never carry more than 10 percent of your total body weight on your shoulders or back, as anything more is too much weight for your spine, muscles and joints to handle.

If you’re carrying a bag or purse with you all day, try to keep it as light as possible. Also, switch sides for single-strap bags. Regularly move it from one side to the other so the weight remains equal. The muscles in your neck and shoulders can become tense and ache if they’re bearing the weight of a bag for hours on end.

For most people, there’s no escaping holiday shopping. The good news is there is an escape from back pain. If you have severe back pain that just won’t go away, consider contacting a spine pain specialist at Capstone Pain & Spine Center. They can provide the noninvasive or minimally invasive treatments that get rid of your spine pain for good.

Do you have any tips for avoiding back pain while shopping? We’d love to hear. Share them with us below.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Feeling Stressed? It Could Lead to Back Pain

Do you get stressed every year around this time? It’s November, which means the holiday season is fast approaching. If your head spins just thinking about hosting the entire family for Thanksgiving dinner, you probably tend to stress out. But did you know stress can lead to back pain?

Stress is a psychological and emotional pressure exerted on the body and can cause serious physical consequences, like back pain. Aches and pains are frequently the result of stress-induced situations. Other stress-related back pain symptoms may include:
  • Back and/or neck pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle tenderness/tension
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • And more

How is such a psychological response connected to a physical pain felt by the body? Researchers point to the chemical release of cortisol and its effect on the body’s ability to regulate inflammation.

The more inflamed areas of the body (like the muscles near the spine) become, the higher the likelihood of chronic back pain, neck pain and extremity pain. Even worse, stress and back pain can be a vicious cycle. Stress can lead to back pain, but back pain can also lead to more stress.

If you find yourself worrying about how clean your house is for your holiday guests, that long car ride you have to sit through with your fidgety kids, or all those recipes you need to perfect, find a way to de-stress. The last thing you need to deal with is irritating back pain the next few months.

Do you find yourself dealing with unbearable back pain every year around this time? It could be linked to stress. Learn about spine pain treatments that can get rid of your discomfort for good.

Read more on the link between stress and physical pain from the Huffington Post.