Helping You Live a Healthy Life!

Holiday Guide to Back Care

Parties. Gift shopping. Family gatherings. Curling up to watch a favorite movie on the couch…. The holiday season is full of reasons for good cheer. And yet, according to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, it is also prime time for us to suffer from back and neck pain.

For one thing, the stress associated with extra obligations during the holidays can increase muscle tension, aggravating any existing condition. But there are also a number of common seasonal activities— such as entertaining, shopping, and wrapping gifts— that can lead directly to back and neck pain. Here are a few tips from the Canadian Chiropractic Association to help you stay pain free this holiday season.

At home (or visiting a friend or relative’s home):

  • Sit in a firm but comfortable chair, and pay attention to posture while entertaining friends and family or watching television. Spending hours on too-soft sofas in poor posture can cause imbalances along the spine.
  • Don’t cook, clean, and talk on the phone all at once— unless you have a headset. Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can lead to muscle tension and neck pain.

While shopping:

  • Make yourself comfortable. Prevent unnecessary body tension by wearing supportive shoes and non-restrictive clothing.
  • Don’t try to carry too much at once. Make frequent visits to your car to unload bags, if necessary. For larger items, don’t be shy— ask your sales clerk for help!
  • Remember, shopping can be an endurance sport, so treat yourself right after a long day of shopping. Stretch your muscles and take a hot shower or bath to release tension that may have accumulated during the day.

Wrapping gifts:

  • Wrap presents at a table. While spreading out on the floor may be fun and convenient, it encourages poor posture and tension.

Sticking to a routine of physical activity, getting adequate rest, and eating well will also help relieve stress and tension during the holidays. Above all, relax! It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, your family, and your back. And if you do experience neck or back pain, be sure to fit an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic into your busy schedule.


Kids gulping more caffeine-laden drinks
Many kids are gulping down so-called “energy drinks” that are loaded with caffeine far above levels Health Canada considers safe for children.  These drinks, with names like Red Bull or Mountain Dew Energy, contain upwards of 160 mgs of caffeine.  Here are the recommended safe levels for consumption for children:

            -4 to 6 years:  45 mg/day
            -7 to 9 years:  62.5 mg/day
            -10 to 12 years:  85 mg/day

Click on the above link for more information.  I think this is an important issue to consider given that caffeine in children can cause difficulty concentrating and sleep problems as well.
Study links antidepressant with birth defects

A retrospective study found an increased amount of birth defects in babies being born to mothers who had taken Paxil, an antidepressant, during their first trimester of pregnancy.  This was compared with women taking other antidepressants. To read more:

The article went on to say “Doctors are advised to carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of using paroxetine (Paxil) therapy in women during pregnancy.”  With the use of antidepressants being quite common, I thought this might be useful information.





The office will be closed for the holidays from Saturday December 24, 2005 until Sunday January 1, 2006 and will re-open on Monday January 2 at 7:30 am.


Regular office hours:

Monday and Friday 7:30am -1:00 & 3:00-6:00pm

Wednesday 7:30am -1:00pm

Tuesday and Thursday 10:00am -1:00 & 3:00-7:00pm


Chiropractic Care Can Help...
Our goal is to manipulate the spine and help stimulate
your body's natural healing process.


Dr. Randall Trester
West 1st Chiropractic Wellness Centre
3-1864 West 1st Avenue
Vancouver BC V6J1G5

T 604 736 8353
F 604 736 8350


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