It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season is vastly approaching and it’s all about spending wonderful times with family and friends. But there are most who see this part of the year as a reason to eat more, drink more and skip time at the gym. Do your best to make this year different and not fall into the poor health trap. Here are the 4 leading causes of bad health and how you can prevent them to assure that you will roll into 2019 without illness or injuries.
1. Excessive traveling. It is common to spend many hours either in the car to grandma’s house or sitting in plane to be with families in different states or countries. Long travel times combined with uncomfortable seats, stress and long lines create a recipe for disaster for the spine. Staying in a hotel of family member’s house can have detrimental effects as well because of poor mattresses or pillows leading to kinked necks or backs. Eventually episodes of headaches, neck pain, lower back pain, stomach aches and even jaw pain can occur due to not putting our health first and taking care of our bodies.
You should be mindful that if you get any discomfort whatsoever to seek the advice of a chiropractor and receive a proper examination and adjustment. Problems felt during the holidays are typically put on the back burner and forgotten until the time is right which by then is very painful. Chiropractic can be that one thing to turn everything around and allow you to enjoy the holidays with smiles and laughs instead of aches and pains. A good travel tip for long rides in the car or plane is to carry a lacrosse or tennis ball with you. These can be used as muscle release tools to help alleviate tight areas or knots that can form in between or on top of the shoulders blades. Simply roll side to side or up and down on any areas where tension is felt for a temporary quick fix.
2. The dreadful cold and flu season. Both of these illnesses occur over time when the immune system is weakened from immobility, poor diet and lack of proper vitamin D from sequestering ourselves indoors. Do yourself a favor and if exercise is not your thing then be sure to take nice, long walks and soak up some sun for at least 30 minutes. This will be the necessary vitamin D dosage that you need to help the body stay strong. Get the body moving the way it was supposed to prevent the body from becoming stagnant and stiff. Seeing a chiropractic and getting adjusted can help the nervous system to operate at its optimum potential which will allow the immune system to balance out.
When the spine is in a poor position, then the nervous system has to work harder to keep us healthy. This causes the immune system to weaken over times making us susceptible to illnesses like the cold and flu. Also, the body needs sufficient fluids to aid in recovery from all of the food and other beverages during the holidays that are typically loaded with processed sugars. The old saying is that 8 cups of water a day is the allotted amount but I always tell my patients to shoot for 10 because even coffee can cause more dehydration and having too much water in your system is never a bad thing.
3. Too much yard work. For a lot of us in the Texas this time of year is not about snow and ice but it can be quite the pain to deal with all of the leaves. Raking and picking up limbs from our yards can even become a weekly task and for some even daily. The best thing to help your neck and back are to use a proper rake or shovel for your height. This might seem crazy to some but you would be surprised that by using the proper tools for your lawn will save your spine a lot of grief. Also, maintain good form when performing the work and avoid excessive twisting and bending at the waist. Performing a squat to bend down is much more helpful for the lower back and will reduce the risk of injury.
4. Stress. This is the biggest factor that plagues the body during the holiday season. From bickering back and forth with family members that you do not agree with to buying the right gifts to waiting in long lines at the airport or department stores. Sometimes even feeling alone or mourning the loss of loved ones or family can lead to increased stress and sadness. There are plenty of different reasons for people to be stressed during the holidays but they all lead to same outcome.
Neck, lower back pain and headaches are eventually caused from all of the built up stresses in the body that fester over time. Sadly, the stress and depression causes people to not put themselves first leading to poor health and pains. Chiropractic can be that helpful tool to help negate all of the stresses on the body to finally allow it to relax.
So, do yourself a favor this holiday season and seek the help of your local chiropractor. Be sure to receive a proper examination and x-rays to find the root cause of the problem and adopt a plan to living a pain-free, healthy lifestyle this holiday season. Your body and mind will thank you and you will be able to enjoy these special times this holiday season with the ones you love the most.
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