It’s hard to believe but the Holidays are now behind us, putting us in recovery mode. Not only from the extra piece of stuffed cabbage or potato kugel (or both!) at the Simchas Torah kiddush, but also from the added physical strain of dancing while holding the children, cooking and cleaning, and sukkah deconstructing. I’ve been thinking about my own plan to get back on track so I figured I would share my thoughts.
Much of the activity of the past couple of weeks was far beyond the physical demands of our daily routine. Hours of standing can cause back pain in people with stenosis or knee/hip pain in people with arthritis.
Building and taking down the sukkah is liable to cause back pain from lifting heavy panels and shoulder pain from hanging decorations and putting up/taking down the s’chach.
Dancing with the kids on your shoulder can can cause neck pain or back pain.
All of these take a toll on the body and may have left you sore and achy. If so, you are not alone. And here is what to do about it.
First, identify the nature of your pain. Do you have sharp pain or general aches? Sharp pain is often indicative of an injury and warrants a trip to the doctor or physical therapist if it doesn’t resolve quickly. Aching, on the other hand, is often a result of simply overworking the muscles. This is the muscles’ way of letting you know they don’t appreciate the abuse, and they will require some recovery time to return to the way they were.
First, avoid checking the pain. Every time a movement hurts… it is your body’s way of telling you to stop. What that means is if you have the pain every time you bend down to tie your shoe, don’t bend down just to see if it still hurts! Assume it will still hurt now if it hurt ten minutes ago. This will prevent you from constantly exacerbating the symptoms, thereby minimizing the ongoing strain on the muscles and allowing the healing process to take place.
Next, try using a non-invasive method of dealing with the pain. This means, don’t jump to medication before trying either ice or heat…depending on what is wrong. (Not sure which one to use? CLICK HERE to read the Blog post “Ice Vs. Heat…What You Need To Know To Decide).
Lastly, a good night of sleep and a healthy diet go a long way to healing the body.
For a good nights sleep…get to bed early. Aside from giving your body more time to heal you will get many hidden benefits. (Research shows people who get to bed early have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight, worry less, get sick less and look better… not to shabby!)
Eating adequate nutrition, including the recommended daily vitamins and minerals, helps the body function and heal properly. Eat properly balanced meals of the correct portion size and you will probably get all the macro and micro nutrition you need… including vitamins and minerals.
Remember, if you have aches or pains that do not resolve quickly see your doctor or physical therapist for further assessment and treatment advice, specific to your situation. Letting these problems linger often leads to additional problems over time.