The holidays are an amazing and cheerful time for many of us. However, for some, this joyful season can be more difficult due to chronic pain. From extra time spent on the couch to cold temperatures outside, there are a number of factors this time of year that can make chronic pain worse. Keep reading for our tips on how to avoid chronic pain flare-ups over the holidays!
Many people think of the holidays as a time to crash on the couch and they end up spending more time resting than being active. While it is certainly important to relax and rest, it’s equally as important to keep your body moving.
If daily walks or strengthening exercises help keep your chronic pain at bay, don’t stop these habits for more than a day or two at a time. You can easily incorporate movement through walks, bike rides, or hikes into holiday plans by inviting friends and family to join. Alternatively, if you prefer to get this exercise in solo, plan to do it first thing in the morning to avoid conflicts with holiday plans.
Whatever your time constraints or holiday plans look like, there are ways to continue your exercise regimen and remain active. You just have to make it a priority!
Watch What You Eat
During holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, it’s easy to pile your plate up high with all kinds of goodies. While we want to encourage you to enjoy without guilt, remember to do so in moderation.
Over-indulging not only leads to digestive discomfort but even causes chronic pain flare-ups, which takes away from your holiday fun. If your pain management or general health plans established by your doctor involve specific dietary restrictions, be sure to discuss with them how best to stay on track during the holiday season.
Mind the Temperature
For some people, cold temperatures can cause major issues for pain flares. If this is true for you, keep time outside to a minimum and be sure to bundle up when you are outside.
If pain caused by cold weather becomes serious or unbearable, it’s important to talk with a pain management specialist. They can work with you to develop a management plan and ensure your holiday season isn’t spent suffering.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
While the effects of alcohol may lessen symptoms of chronic pain for some people, they can make things much worse for others. This reasoning is why it’s important to pay close attention to when your chronic pain flares up and what behaviors might be associated.
Did your pain feel worse the morning after drinking heavily? What about after having a glass of wine? Tracking your habits and how they relate to chronic pain can identify what could be causing your issues. Be sure you share these observations with your doctor to help inform your management plan.
If the holidays are a major issue for you due to chronic pain flares, our pain management specialists are here to help you focus on what matters most during this season. Reach out to us by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033 if you have any more questions on how to avoid chronic pain flare-ups over the holidays.