• Dr. Shawn Henry shares 4 tips to help make the holiday easier for those with Chronic Back Pain!

    by Dr. Shawn Henry
    on Dec 13th, 2018

The holidays are an exciting time of year, but with that excitement can come with tons of stress. For people with chronic back or neck pain, the effort of getting everything done can diminish the pleasure of the Christmas season. But Texas Spine Solutions is here to help, with four tips to help make this time a more enjoyable and comfortable one for you and your family.

1. Simplify Shopping

Walking around crowded shopping malls, then sitting in the car for ages trying to get out of the car park, before lugging presents out of the boot can be a challenge for anyone with back pain. Make it easier on yourself and consider gift cards or online shopping for presents. You can avoid the queues, lifting and extra stress that often accompanies the hunt for Christmas presents.

2. Focus on Posture

There really is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ posture. Mostly, this is because we are made to move. Even with a great sitting or standing posture, staying there for hours in the same place will cause stress and strain on your spine and result in nervous system interference. So if you’re traveling, whether by car, bus, train or plane, get out (well, out of your seat if you in a plane!) and have a walk and a stretch periodically, to change the loads on your spine. At that Christmas lunch and dinner, don’t sit on your butt all day. Get up and play some games with the youngsters, or at the least, get up and go for a walk or help out in the kitchen. Moving will help alter loads, as well as help you digest the feast!

3. Decorate in a Group

Don’t decorate by yourself. Enlist a family member or friend to help. One person can hand lights and ornaments to the other person to put on the tree. You’ll have more fun, and take away a lot of the stress that can be placed on your spine when you are stretching or lifting awkwardly.

4. Take Care of Yourself

Christmas and the holidays can be so busy that your normal exercise and eating routines can go out the window. You don’t need to let this happen. Reasonable (not perfect!) exercise and diet are possible, no matter how busy your life becomes.

If time becomes too tight for a full exercise routine, consider a shorter one or breaking your exercise into mini-routines across the day. A quick blast around the block, an intense 20-minute workout in the gym (try some high-intensity interval training – HIIT – on the bike or elliptical), or even a minute of squats, push-ups and/or sit-ups. Something quick and easy can really raise your metabolism and give you energy.

Christmas time is certainly a time when you can stack on the un-wanted kilos quickly. Weight gain cannot only aggravate neck, back, and joint pain due to increased load bearing and altered body posture, but it can also influence you hormonally, thus affecting your health in other ways. Be sure to have a plan in place before the holiday meals, events, and parties take place.

Here are a few tips for controlling what you eat:

As you plan for the coming year, consider easy ways to improve your spine and nervous system function. This can be as simple as adding a 5 to 15 minute walking break to your day, signing up for a yoga class, or finally replacing your old mattress.


About Dr. Shawn Henry

Shawn Henry, D.O. is a Fellowship Trained Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon serving at Texas Spine Solutions in Fort Worth, TX. Dr. Henry specializes in spine surgery in which his comprehensive treatment includes back pain, neck pain, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, nerve pain, spinal fracture, and spine pain. He has 15 years of experience in helping patients conquer pain and mobility issues due to spinal problems. Dr. Henry is highly experienced in orthopaedic spine surgery and he uses the most advanced techniques available today to achieve optimum results. He believes strongly in the conservative care approach and utilizes surgery as a last resort.

Dr. Henry earned his medical degree at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1996. He completed a spine surgery fellowship at Texas Back Institute in 2002. Dr. Henry maintains affiliations with several Baylor Medical facilities as well as Texas Health Resource facilities. Call anytime to arrange a consultation with Dr. Henry. He looks forward to meeting new patients.

Texas Spine Solutions
Call us today to set up your appointment and get back to normal without back pain! (817) 429-4545
Author Dr. Shawn Henry Texas Spine Solutions

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