This time of year, it is very common for strange and unknown pains to start showing up. Are you one of the thousands of people who suffer from unexplained aches and pains this time of year? I see a common pattern this time of year in my clinic. Patients are complaining about old pains showing up again or new pains appearing from seemingly nowhere. And most people don’t know why. If you want to know “the why” read on.
My practice is focused on treating pain and dysfunction. So it is normal for patients to call for an appointment because something hurts. But this time of year more patients are calling for an appointment because all these new and unexplained pains are showing up for them. They have new neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain or even cramping and pain in their calves. I always ask, “What started the pain?” For most patients they can’t think of a trauma or injury that could have led to their complaint.
But after asking lots of questions and doing a thorough evaluation and treatment I usually can pinpoint the cause of these new complaints. I call it “Holiday Stress and Strain Syndrome”. This is the time of year when people are putting up Christmas decorations and preparing for the Holidays. They put up lights on the house or decorate the tree. So they are up and down ladders and reaching above their heads to hang lights or put up decorations. Sometimes it’s just many hours in the kitchen preparing the Holiday meals.
Anytime you are doing something new or different with your body it can put a strain or stress on it. So it is not a major trauma that causes your pain, but lots of little stresses and strains that become cumulative that start new pains or lead to old ones returning. Up and down ladders can lead to calf pain and leg cramps at night. Click here for a good stretch for your calf muscles. Reaching over your head to hang lights can stain your shoulders. And looking up to decorate the house or tree can strain your neck. Even standing in the kitchen for longer than you normally do can lead to low back pain from having a weak core.
These are just a few of the complaints I hear this time of year. But remember mental and emotional stress can also lead to physical pain too. The mental stress of the Holidays can lead to headaches or low back pain, to name a few. Our mental state of mind has a physical effect on our body.
So you don’t have to have a big trauma or injury to start the aches and pains to show up this time of year. It can be due to the mental or repetitive stresses and strains that can cause pain to ruin your Holiday plans.