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Tricks to Avoid Back and Neck Pain this Halloween

Tricks to Avoid Back and Neck Pain this Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner. For kids, that means costumes and candy. But, if suffer from chronic back pain on a normal day, then Halloween can be a real nightmare. Whether you’ll be pounding the pavement going door-to-door with your kids or constantly getting up and down to pass out candy when your doorbell rings, here are some tips to help you avoid back and neck pain and survive trick-or-treating this Halloween.

  • Plan Ahead: Think ahead about the route you plan to walk and make sure you have a pair of supportive shoes. You may want to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory before you set out, or bring it with you if you think you may need it later. A stick-on heat pad could also help relieve discomfort while you’re on the move.
  • Hydrate: Start hydrating a couple days before Halloween, and carry a bottle of water with you. Dehydration takes the water from the discs in your spine causing back pain.
  • Choose Your Costume Wisely: Choose a lightweight costume that is easy to walk and move in. While wearing a giant mascot head or another large headpiece may win you the neighborhood costume contest,  it could also cause back and neck pain.
  • Beware of How You Move: You may not realize it, but trick-or-treating requires a lot of twisting, turning and bending. If you have toddler-age kids, consider pulling a wagon to avoid carrying them when they get tired. If you’re staying home to pass out candy, a porch party is a great way to avoid the neck and back strain. Grab a comfortable chair and maybe even a small table to set the bowl of candy. This will prevent you from getting up and down throughout the night every time a trick-or-treater rings your doorbell and leaning down dole out candy.
  • Watch Out for the Heavy Candy Bag: It doesn’t take long before the trick-or-treat bag gets heavier than what your child can carry. This is where that wagon comes in handy again. Another great alternative is to wear a backpack. When your child’s bag gets too heavy, empty it into a backpack. This will distribute the weight more evenly than carrying it in one hand or over one shoulder. If you’re neck or back pain is too severe, avoid carrying a heavy bag altogether. Use this as your cue to make your way back home to rest.
  • Limit Your Candy Intake: One of the best parts about Halloween is sifting through your child’s haul and sneaking a few of your favorites. But, keep in mind that overindulging for an extended period of time can result in added weight gain. You’re more likely to suffer from back pain if you are overweight or obese, or quickly gain a significant amount of weight.

Trying to avoid neck and back pain this Halloween may seem like it will take all the fun out, but with these few simple tips, you can still have a great time. If pain and discomfort continue to disrupt your everyday life, contact Pacific Spine Specialists at 503.885.9391 to schedule an appointment today.

  • Oregon Medical Association
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Scoliosis Research Society
  • North American Spine Society