For Many Americans...Pain May Just Get In The Way This Holiday!
New research released today finds that for many Americans this holiday season may be accompanied by as much pain as cheer. Unfortunately, almost all Americans can name at least one thing that triggers physical pain during the winter and half of them put talking to a physician about pain at the bottom of their holiday to-do list. A new survey from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) uncovered that instead of talking to a physician about their pain, Americans would rather focus on other holiday chores including: taking down holiday decorations by themselves (55 percent), shoveling snow for an hour alone (44 percent) and waiting in line to return or exchange gifts the day after Christmas (33 percent).
According to the AOA survey, adults older than 45 are most likely to experience pain during the winter. Some of the top triggers include freezing temperatures, slips and falls on icy ground and shoveling snow. The cold weather may also worsen pain from pre-existing conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and general muscle aches. Despite the discomfort, two out of five Americans will wait until the holiday merriment is over to see a physician. While the holiday season can be hectic, ignoring or under-treating your pain comes at a high price because it can lead to more pain.
No matter what time of year it is, it is important to talk to your physician about what is causing your pain. Representing more than 100,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students in the United States, the AOA hopes to provide those living with pain this holiday season with the knowledge and resources they need to better manage their pain.
"Pain may be unavoidable for many during the winter months, but it does not have to prevent people from enjoying the holiday season," said Jennifer N. Caudle, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician and assistant professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford. "Managing your pain is not a 'one size fits all' diagnosis and comprehensive care, including appropriate use of pain medications, can help people find relief and enjoy the holidays."
To find more information and download online pain management tools from the AOA "Break Through Your Pain" campaign, visit osteopathic.org/pain.