Christmas and the festive season is a busy time of the year. Around this time of the year I tend to see a few unique causes of upper back and neck pain. These festive activities can by themselves cause upper back and neck pain, or exacerbate problems that have been there for a while.
So here are my Top 3 Festive Causes of Upper Back and Neck Pain.
Number Three Reason…Writing Christmas Cards!
Although we are sending less Christmas cards than we used to, I still see wrist, elbow and neck injuries from marathon card writing sessions. So whether it is cards to elderly relatives, a crafty newsletter with a full year review of your families activities or helping your kids writing cards to their class try to avoid injuries by breaking the task up. Ideally, you should be writing for no more than 10 minutes at a time and a good half an hour between each session of writing.
At number Two, Wrapping Presents.
There are a few organised souls who have all their presents bought and wrapped before the beginning of December. But for many of us it is a mad rush to get them wrapped before the big day. To avoid hurting your upper back and arms whilst doing present wrapping I have two recommendations. Firstly, as with card wrapping, take regular breaks, don’t attempt a marathon wrapping session that lasts several hours. Instead do little and often. Not only will it help avoid injuries but it will help reduce your stress levels as well. Secondly, set yourself up on a table with everything in easy reach. This means that you will be in a comfortable position with your low back supported and not having to reach in awkward ways to wrap things.
At Number One, The Festive Activity that Causes Upper Back and Neck Pain the Most is Internet Shopping.
With more and more of us buying our Christmas presents online it is my number one cause of festive neck and back pain.
It is very easy to accidentally spend a long time internet shopping either on our phones or laptops, snuggled up on the sofa with a cup of tea (glass of wine/gin!) This puts a lot of stress onto our upper back and neck. Coupled with the fact that many of us spend long periods of time in front of a screen in one form of the other throughout the day means that the muscles and joints or our upper back and necks are often already under stress. The extra pressure of an evenings online christmas shopping is the straw (or Christmas candy cane) that breaks the camel’s back and results in upper back and neck pain.
To avoid this limit your online shopping to short bursts and ideally do it when sitting at your desk or in a good upright position.
I hope you have found this round up of festive activities that cause neck and upper back pain helpful!
The main ways to avoid them is to break the activities up into small bursts rather than marathon sessions and to try and have a good posture during the activity.
To help stretch out tight neck and upper back muscles and joints you can follow the stretches in the video below.
If you have any upper back or neck problems that are very painful or do not get better after 3 weeks then it is worth having it assessed by a healthcare professional. You can book a free Chiro Chat with me online.