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Holiday Activities That Can Cause Back Pain

November 15, 2020
Read Time: 4 Minutes

The holiday season is filled with joy and plenty of activities that keep us busy. From holiday parties to family get-togethers, sometimes it seems like we never stop going. While the holidays are filled with fun, they can also wreak havoc on our backs, necks, and shoulders. Everyday activities throughout the holiday season can put unnecessary pressure on our bodies, causing sprains, strains, and pain. Chiropractic care can help.

Causes of Back Pain During the Holidays

Here are four common activities that can cause back pain during the holidays.

Decorating the Tree

Decorating the Christmas tree is an activity that families look forward to all year round. Everyone gets together, reminiscing over past holidays while creating this year's masterpiece. However, decorating a tree can cause back pain. Lugging heavy boxes down from the attic, climbing a ladder to put the star on top, and bending down to make sure the branches are trimmed, and the tree skirt is in place can all cause back pain.

People are also more prone to accidents while tree decorating; climbing up that ladder poses a fall risk. Decorating the Christmas tree may be the jolliest activity of all, but take caution that you don't get injured.

Holiday Shopping

Everyone wants to get the perfect present for that special someone. If you have a large family or children, you might find yourself running around the mall on more than one occasion. All those heavy bags add up, though, and most people tend to favor one shoulder over the other when carrying items.

Believe it or not, holiday shopping can lead to back pain. Increased stress on your shoulders for an extended period can cause muscle stiffness and joint pain. It leads to poor posture and can even cause a misalignment in the spine. If you experience continued pain following big holiday shopping trips, seek care from a chiropractor.


That's right, all that cooking you do for the holidays can take a toll on your back. Standing for hours on end in the kitchen can affect your posture, as many people tend to favor one leg over the other when resting their weight. Extended periods of standing also puts pressure on your spine, causing muscles in your lower back to tighten and even spasm. You may notice that after a long day of cooking, it's more than just your feet that hurt.


The holiday season is a time full of travel, going to see friends and family far and wide. People travel by cars, planes, and trains to visit loved ones all over the country, and it frequently causes back pain. Not only does that heavy luggage you lift into the trunk, carry through the airport, and place in the overhead bin put a strain on your back, but sitting for long periods is another leading cause of back pain.

Many people sit with poor posture, hunched over phones, laptops, and tablets, or curled over asleep in their seats. This puts pressure on your vertebra and can lead to a misaligned spine that causes lasting pain. Your chiropractor can address this with a spine adjustment.

Tips to Avoid Holiday Back Pain

It's important to remember not to neglect chiropractic care during the holidays. Self-care is essential, and there are steps that you can take to minimize back pain.

Remember to Rest

If you've been shopping or cooking all day and you notice your back is beginning to hurt, remember to rest. It's okay to sit down for a little while, relieving the pressure from your shoulders and spine. You can sit with your feet elevated or do some simple stretches to help ease muscle tension and spasms.

Eat Well and Stay Hydrated

Eating well and remaining hydrated is crucial for avoiding back pain during the holidays. When we forget to drink water, our muscles tighten up, leading to stiffness, pain, and spasms. Try to consume plenty of foods with anti-inflammatory properties too, such as green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, blueberries, and oranges. Sipping green tea can be beneficial as well, and is the perfect beverage for those cold days.

Don't Forget Exercise

The holidays can be so busy that we forget or don't think we have time, to maintain our physical fitness or take some time to relax. Exercise and relaxation, however, can be the key to preventing and alleviating back pain. Participating in activities that decompress and strengthen the back is extremely beneficial. Examples include yoga and Pilates, curls, and cardio. This will keep the blood flowing to all the muscles in your back, preventing stiffness and tension.

Make Time to Relax

During the holidays, it can be hard to remember that we need to take time for self-care, but it's important to fit into your schedule. Relaxation, taking a day off, getting a massage, and seeing the chiropractor can give your back a break and provide the treatment you need.

Seeking Chiropractic Care

If you're suffering from holiday back pain, schedule a consultation to see if chiropractic care is right for you. There are a variety of treatment options available, including spine adjustments, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more. You don't have to live with the pain; a chiropractor can help.

About the Author:
Dr. Steven Schwartz
Raised in Coral Springs, Florida, Dr. Steven Schwartz is a major advocate for the South Florida community. CEO of ChiroCare of Florida, Dr. Schwartz has grown the group from one facility to 11. Whether he’s treating patients or volunteering for community service, Dr. Schwartz’s long-term goal is to ensure that each and every patient can experience the ChiroCare of Florida difference.
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