How to avoid a painful Christmas

Well, 2022 has whizzed past! I would like to thank you all for your continued support throughout the year. It really is a privilege to help so many of you improve your physical health.

December has the potential to be a busy month meaning exercise, self-care and routines can be put on the back burner. The festive period is also a month that can involve lots of sitting, and long journeys potentially causing stiff joints and tight muscles. Combined, this could lead to old injuries flaring, or grumbly niggles becoming a debilitating problem. 

Top Tips

My top tips for avoiding a challenging Christmas are:

  1. Get organised. Leaving things to the last minute can place huge stress on our minds. Stress can be held in muscles which could cause tightness to the shoulders and neck which can in turn cause headaches. 
  2. If you are shopping physically return to the car regularly to avoid carrying heavy or big items for longer than needed. If you are shopping online take regular breaks from your device so you avoid tech-neck.
  3. Don’t wrap gifts on the floor, use a table and sit on a chair. If you have a lot of gifts to wrap you may find doing 4-5 at a time helps. Splitting the job up over a few days really does take the strain off your muscles. 
  4. Break up long drives. I recommend a break every 90 minutes for 5 minutes. Simply getting out of your car and walking around it is enough, this is also very important to allow your brain to have a break from intense concentration. 
  5. Christmas can be a busy period so make time for self-care, for example a long relaxing bath, reading a book or watching your favourite Christmas film. Try not to overfill your diary so you flop into an utterly shattered Christmas. 
  6. If you suffer from neck pain/shoulder pain/headaches and you have a specific pillow you use to help combat this, take it away with you if you’re staying away overnight. 
  7. Stay active. Keep exercise plans in place and remember movement is medicine. 
  8. Be careful when lifting hot heavy things out of the oven especially if you have a painful back. Take your time, and use your knees (if you have a low oven) and your core. If needs be ask for help.
  9. If you are under pressure to meet Christmas deadlines for work do not be tempted to stop your good habits of regular breaks and leaving your desk at lunchtime. You will be more productive if you keep these things in place. 

I wish you all a very merry, happy Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year.

For more information on how Osteopathy can help you, please visit or call me on 07761 664325

Always happy to help you all,

Emily Coombes 

Registered Osteopath