Dealing with Pain During the Holiday Season
There's a lot to love about the holidays. But, the season can come with added layers of frustration if you live with chronic pain. Fortunately, you don't have to let your symptoms derail your festivities.
At Valley Neurology and Pain, our team of talented providers specializes in interventional and regenerative pain management therapies. If you have pain in certain areas, such as your back, shoulder, or hip, or if you struggle with conditions like migraines, we can provide a personalized treatment strategy to help you get your symptoms under control, so you can reclaim your life.
As we head into the holidays, our team shares these insights to help you keep your pain at bay.
It can be easy to overdo it during the holidays, but this can cause serious trouble if you have chronic pain. Instead of pushing yourself too hard, scale back, pace yourself, and enlist the help of others whenever possible.
And, while you tackle your to-do list, make sure it includes plenty of time to rest, relax, and recover.
For many, the holidays are accompanied by excessive pressure to shop, cook, decorate and otherwise entertain family and friends. However, overcommitting and imposing perfectionist standards on yourself causes stress, and stress can exacerbate chronic pain. Be realistic about what you can take on, and don't be afraid to say "no."
Manage your emotions
As much as you may love the holidays, they can also cause intense emotions, such as depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, these emotions can also worsen chronic pain.
Take some time to think about how you've managed these emotions in the past. Then, create a plan to tackle them before they start. This could include beginning a meditation or mindfulness program or working with a therapist who can provide a personalized action plan.
Take care of your body
The holidays look different for everyone, but they often have a few things in common: too much food and alcohol, and not enough sleep and exercise. These unhealthy behaviors are the perfect formula for triggering illness and pain. To avoid these common pitfalls, take steps to protect yourself and your immune system by:
- Getting enough sleep
- Staying hydrated
- Avoiding large, heavy meals
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol
- Exercising regularly
- Washing your hands frequently
These steps can also help keep other health conditions in check, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Stick to your routine
When you live with chronic pain, routine is key — especially if you take medications or have interventional treatments. Unfortunately, it can be easy for schedules to get disrupted during the holiday season.
To avoid these complications, we recommend setting an alarm on your phone and checking your medication supply to ensure you won't run out over the holidays. You should also talk to your provider about scheduling any pain management treatments you may need to keep your symptoms controlled during the season.
And, remember, medication and therapy are only two aspects of your pain management routine. Sticking with your diet, exercise, and sleep regimen as much as possible can help you keep your symptoms under control.
At Valley Neurology and Pain, with three convenient Arizona locations in Phoenix and Peoria, you are never a number. Your consultation, examination, and treatment are always administered by a highly qualified physician. When it comes to managing pain during the holidays, we have several experienced physicians who can help you, including Toure Knighton, MD, Dinesh Chinthagada, MD, Jin Yuk, MD and Patricia Henthorn, DC, DAAMUAP. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.