With the hustle & bustle of the season often comes a sore neck and shoulders. But why? Carrying shopping bags, longer hours shopping on-line at the computer, increased driving times – all these behaviors increase demand on the muscles that shrug your shoulders.
These muscles are most commonly the upper trapezius and levator scapulae, although several other neck and shoulder muscles may be involved. The problem is that with the increased physical demand comes fatigue and dysfunction of this tissue. Essentially, our bodies have not been conditioned for this spike in shopping behavior! Thankfully this holiday season comes just once a year! But what can we do about this pain in the neck and the related headaches and body-aches?
5 Essential Tips to Surviving the Holidays:
- Targeted stretches to the “shoulder shrugging muscles” are one strategy. Take a look at this short VIDEO to see how you can easily stretch the neck and shoulders to instantly reduce muscular tension.
- Using soothing heat is another strategy. Heat will increase blood circulation to the muscles, and promote a relaxation effect through the nervous system. 15 minutes of heat (using a shower, bean bag, or heat blanket) will have a tremendous therapeutic effect at the end of the day.
- Exercise. Maintaining your normal exercise routine helps reduce abnormal muscular tension developing from shopping. Contrary to popular belief, shopping is not considered a substitute for your daily exercise routine. Just because you spent 1 hr walking in the stores does not mean you can skip your daily walk!
- Hydrate. As we get busy and thrown off our normal routine, we often forget to drink water. Coffee and seasonal drinks are not good substitutes for proper hydration. Don’t forget your water! Your muscles are over 80% water, and without good hydration they are more susceptible to tightness and injury.
- Schedule your therapy in advance. Knowing you have increased physical demands on your body during the holiday season is a great reason to schedule your therapy in advance. Utilizing clinical treatment at LEGACIES in Surrey BC will help get you through the holidays feeling your best… but book your appointments in advance. This is our busiest time of year and practitioners are booked solid days out. If you call on the same day, the best we can do is put you on our cancellation list.