The holiday season is a perfect storm for flare-ups of neck and back pain. Between traveling, shopping, long hours in the kitchen and parties in not-so-comfortable shoes, the body really takes a beating. It's really no wonder why I see so many folks in pain at this time of year!
Fortunately, with a few proactive steps, you can feel better and move better this winter. Here's 3 insider tips that have been proven to reduce spinal pain and keep your back healthy!
1. See your chiropractor regularly
Going to the chiropractor is not only for when you are having pain. Research has shown that regular chiropractic visits, even when you feel great, can help your spine stay healthy and reduces your risk of flare-ups. Guidelines show seeing the chiropractor for a wellness visit every 2-4 weeks has the best benefits and actually helps reduce the total number of chiropractic visits per year -- which saves money in the long run too!
2. Move your body every day
Exercise is one of our most powerful medications. Not only does it improve mood, sleep quality and heart health, but it keeps your spine moving well too. It's hard to go to the gym for an hour every day over the holidays, but even spending 10-15 minutes each day doing some stretches or core exercises will help keep you pain-free until the new year. Don't know where to start? Try the Ab Raise, Side Bridge and Bird Dog -- my three favorite core exercises that are great for your spine and easy to do without equipment (see below).
3. Fuel your body
Eating sugar, processed foods and drinking too much alcohol will not only make you put on a few pounds over the holidays, but will also make your muscles feel more sore. Fuel your body with whole foods whenever possible, focusing on increasing vegetable, fruits and healthy fats to offset party foods and treats. Limit alcohol consumption, drink lots of water and try natural green tea to detox from the rich foods.