5 Strategies for Coping with Chronic Pain I During the Holidays

Dr. Amanda Hoffman, PT, DPT

Posted 12.18.2023

Living with chronic pain can be physically and emotionally draining, particularly when combined with the added stressors of the holiday season. Conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, CRPS, back pain, migraines, and other chronic ailments can intensify during this time due to various factors, including:

1. Weather Changes:
As temperatures drop, individuals with conditions like arthritis might experience increased stiffness and discomfort.

2. Stress and Emotional Well-being:
The pressures associated with holiday preparations, social obligations, and financial concerns can exacerbate pain levels.

3. Physical Strain:
Engaging in extensive shopping, decorating, and travel can put additional strain on the body, worsening pain symptoms.

5 Strategies for Coping with
Chronic Pain During the Holidays!

  • Prioritize Self-Care: Stick to a routine by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, balanced meals, and regular exercise to help manage pain levels. Incorporate relaxation techniques by practicing mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or gentle yoga to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Plan and Pace Activities: Delegate Tasks: Share responsibilities with family and friends to reduce physical strain. Break Tasks into Manageable Segments: Take frequent breaks when decorating, cooking, or engaging in activities to avoid overexertion.
  • Modify Celebratory Plans: Choose Comfortable Attire: Wear comfortable clothing and footwear to support your body and minimize pain triggers. Or bring a change of shoewear to events. Consider Intimate Gatherings: Opt for smaller, quieter gatherings or virtual celebrations to manage energy levels and reduce stress.
  • Stay Active and Maintain Mobility: Gentle Exercise: Engage in low-impact exercises prescribed by a physical therapist to keep joints mobile and muscles limber. Stretching: Incorporate gentle stretching routines to alleviate muscle tension and stiffness.
  • Utilize Pain Management Techniques: Hot and Cold Therapy: Apply heat packs or cold compresses to alleviate pain and inflammation. Consult a physical therapist for which would be better for your condition. Medication Management: Adhere to prescribed medications and discuss any changes with your healthcare provider.

Navigating the holiday season while managing chronic pain requires a balance between participating in festivities and prioritizing self-care.

By implementing these coping strategies, individuals can minimize the impact of pain on their holiday experience and focus on creating cherished moments with loved ones.

Remember, listening to your body, pacing activities, and seeking support are essential components in effectively managing chronic pain during this festive season.

Wishing you a peaceful and pain-managed holiday season filled with warmth, joy, and moments of comfort.

Click HERE to Speak with a Doctor of Physical Therapy about How to Cope with Chronic Pain During the Holidays!

Meet the Author

Dr. Amanda Hoffman, PT, DPT is dedicated to the wellness of each and every person who walks through the door. With her knowledge, she helps health conscious individuals live their most active and fit life without the need for pills, injections or surgery. When Dr. Hoffman isn't using her magic touch to keep people as active and healthy as they can, she's attending classes and conferences to implement the most innovative practices and technologies to address her patients' needs.

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