Spooky Spines: How to Enjoy Halloween Despite Back Pain

In this post: Three ideas for making sure you get to enjoy fun quality time during Halloween, without back pain raining on your parade.

Halloween can be a fun holiday to celebrate with scary movies, sweet treats, and family time. If you’ve living with chronic pain and are focusing on pain management, it can also feel stressful and worrisome. It might be tough to walk and stand for long periods with kids or grandkids as they go trick-or-treating. Or if you’re staying home, getting up and down repeatedly to answer the door might be especially challenging. Not only that, but this year has the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic to further complicate things. We want to empower you with ways to stay active and have fun while enjoying the special occasion. Check out some of our top tips for celebrating at home in a safe and healthy way.

Wiggle to your Favorite Spooky Beat

How to do it: Put on your favorite Halloween playlist (we recommend this one). Set a timer to dance along. If your pain levels are higher, set the timer for a minute. You can also hold on to a tall counter top for assistance. If you’re having a good pain day, try going the length of 1-2 songs! We know that both music and movement can help us to feel better. That is why combining them (while staying within our limits) will help you celebrate in a fun way. At the same time it gives your body some of the movement it needs to feel its best.

Hunt for Sweet, Succulent Treats

How to do it: Hide sweet treats (and scary plastic spiders) around the house with clue cards that kids need to answer. When they’re hunting, join them on the adventure! Moving around the house, climbing stairs, getting up and down off the floor, and even doing some crawling are ways you could move your body. Modify the activity to a level that feels doable and right for you. Physical activity signals to the brain to turn down the pain response and boost your mood. The result, you’ll have some fun and probably notice yourself feeling better, too!

Need some clue card ideas? We like these!

Cook a Festive Feast

How to do it: ask a friend or family member to join you for a fun night of cooking. Making a meal or side dish is a fun way to express creativity and relieve stress. When we feel less stress, we also notice less pain, so it’s a win-win! If standing for a longer period of time bothers your back, bring along a high stool so you can sit to take a break and stay engaged in the task. Looking for ideas on what to cook? You can get lots of great ones here!

Don’t let back pain get in the way of fun

Will there be trick-or-treating in your area? If so, make sure to plan ahead and pay close attention to how your body is feeling. You might know that you can only go out for 20 minutes before your pain increases. In that case, arrange for someone to join the kids the rest of the time. Staying home on Halloween night? Consider leaving some grab-and-go baggies of candy or a large bowl outside. This way the kids can grab it on their own. 

With everything that surrounds holiday celebrations, they can start to feel rather stressful. This year, make a point to reverse that trend! Focus on what matters most – enjoying the special occasion, making the most of the day, and using it as a way to lift your spirits. If this way of thinking sounds good to you, you might also want to check out our app. We are currently running a research study, and you can join here.