Save Your Back and Neck This Holiday Season

By Dr. Brandon Siegmund

December 17, 2015

To most people the holiday season is all about tradition, family and the spirit of Christmas, but if we are not careful then the holidays can literally become a pain in the neck. Common holiday activities such as endless shopping, cooking for hours, lifting heavy boxes, decorating homes and wrapping gifts can cause us to overuse our muscles leading to neck, shoulder and back pain.

Here are some tips that can help you get through the holidays this year with less pain:


  • Wear comfortable shoes; avoid prolonged lifting or carrying of object in high heels or on hard surfaces that can cause foot or ankle injury.
  • Consider using a cart to carry boxes to your car in between stores.
  • Make frequent stops to your car to avoid carrying your items from multiple stores for an extended period of time.
  • Distribute the weight of your shopping bags evenly to help keep your body even on both sides.
  • Avoid shopping during prime business hours to prevent long periods of time waiting in line.
  • Have a plan of attack. Plan your shopping ahead of time for better efficiency and reduced “wandering” time.


  • Keep heavy loads closer to your body when lifting to avoid strain on the back.
    est the weight of an object first before you decide to lift and place it.
  • Take frequent trips with smaller loads if the possible for heavy items.
  • Ask your help if the object that you are trying to lift is too heavy.

Cooking and Baking

  • Work on a surface that is at the level of your forearms if possible where arms can rest at 90 degree angles. This will allow your shoulders and upper back to be in a better position and reduces the risk of injury.
  • Use good lifting technique when attempting to get appliances from lower shelves or cabinets. Kneel if needed to reduce the amount of strain on the lower back.
  • For items that are on higher shelves, use a small stool or step ladder to avoid reaching for items and allow you to keep them closer to your body.
  • Take small breaks and perform mild stretching if you are planning to be in the kitchen for an extended period of time.

Lastly, with so much to organize before you and your family embark to the grandparent’s house for the holidays it is hard not to get stressed. This adds to tension that can lead to unnecessary pain during travel along with impending traffic on the roads.

Be sure to see your chiropractor before you leave to help ease any tightened joints and it is an ideal preventative measure to keep your body healthy while you are away.

Dr. Brandon Siegmund

About the author

Dr. Brandon Siegmund was born and raised outside of Fort Worth. After he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006, Dr. Siegmund performed clinical research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Click Here To Read Full Bio

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