The Best Way to Save Yourself From Back Pain This Holiday Season

The holidays are a wonderful time. Many people in the Houston, Texas, area are spending the season with family and friends at holiday gatherings and parties. However, with this season comes a multitude of unhealthy foods that can lead to weight gain which, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, (1) can worsen pain felt in the back. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we believe that no one should spend their holiday season suffering from spine pain due to weight gain, so we’ve listed some tips on how to avoid the holiday pounds and protect your spine this season.


  1. Snack Smarter

When choosing a snack this holiday season, it can be tempting to reach for cookies or other sweet holiday treats. These sweets are loaded with sugar which has been linked to a high body weight, according to Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2). Skip these foods this holiday season, and reach for some fruit or another healthier snack option.


  1. Reduce Your Stress

While the holidays are often filled with fun events, it can also be a stressful time. Between holiday shopping and making time in your day to do other holiday activities, you may find yourself feeling a bit more stressed than usual. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, stress stimulates the secretion of cortisol that is linked with weight gain (3). Keep yourself as stress-free as possible this holiday season to avoid weight gain that can cause back pain. Treat yourself to a massage or try engaging in a hobby that helps you reduce your stress level.


  1. Get Enough Sleep

When spending time with friends and family or attending Christmas parties, it can be easy to fall behind on your sleep schedule during the holidays. Avoid weight gain this holiday season by making sure to make sleep a priority. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, studies have suggested that sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain (4).


  1. Eat Plenty of Protein

If you’re having friends or family over for a holiday dinner, make protein the main dish. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein promotes the feeling of being full (5), which can help prevent holiday over-eating. Serve turkey or chicken to provide a delicious meal that can help prevent weight gain and protect your back from pain.


The holiday season is a wonderful time filled with family, friends, and fun events. However, it can easily cause weight gain that can exacerbate back pain. Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s Spine Solutions Center can eliminate your pain and get you back to doing the things you love. Give us a call at 832-340-2134.

How to Avoid Back Injuries When Hanging Christmas Decorations

Christmas is here and many people in the Webster, Texas, area are getting ready to put up their Christmas lights. However, this can be a difficult task when you suffer from spine pain. Houston Physicians’ Hospital understands that you don’t want your spine pain to hold you back from your favorite holiday traditions, so we’ve listed some tips to protect your spine when putting up Christmas lights this season:


  1. Get Plenty of Rest

According to the Sleep Research Society (1), a lack of sleep is hypothesized to contribute to chronic pain. By getting plenty of sleep the night before you plan to hang your Christmas lights, you can ensure your body and spine are up to the task. This can help reduce pain on the spine when you’re reaching and climbing on ladders to hang your lights. In addition to getting plenty of sleep before hanging Christmas lights, you should also rest fully after hanging them to allow your spine to recuperate.



  1. Enlist Some Help

Enlist the help of family or friends when it comes time to hang Christmas lights. Not only can this make the task more exciting, it also allows the opportunity to take breaks when your spine pain is flaring up. When you are worried that a certain task may be too much for your back, ask for help. This can prevent any injuries to your spine and make hanging Christmas lights a bonding experience.


  1. Position Your Ladder Correctly

When using a ladder to hang your Christmas lights, make sure to position it properly. A ladder that is not angled correctly could lead to a fall that could injure your back and exacerbate your spine pain. According to the Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management Department at Stephen F. Austin State University (2), a ladder should be placed at a 75-degree angle against the side of your home to be used safely and avoid falls.



  1. Take Frequent Breaks

While you may feel as though you can’t wait to get your Christmas lights hung and ready to light up your house, it is important to take breaks. This allows the body to release stress and tension that may build while reaching, tugging, and pulling on various items. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (3) recommends taking frequent breaks from activity, such as hanging Christmas lights, if you suffer from pain, swelling, or stiffness in the joints. This is especially important when your spine pain symptoms are bothering you, as continuing your activity could lead to injury or further pain symptoms.



Hanging Christmas lights is a popular holiday tradition, but it is important to protect your spine from further pain. If your spine pain is keeping you from your favorite activities, Houston Physicians’ Hospital can help. Give us a call at (832) 340-2134.