Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    Having Chronic Pain and dealing with the Holidays!
    77grace posted:
    Hi ,Love to all of you for a blessed Holiday Season!
    I was just sitting here and thinking abouit the up coming Holidays!Its seems like lately the last several ones have been really hard on me physically(sp) my neck and back are always worse this time of year!Its the time I go to the mall,extra shopping ,cards to write and send ETC.!I LOVE THE SEAson but its realy hard on my body!
    Just found ou twe are flying over to see the realatrives in mid Dec.for a week!I'm already fearing the flight!!What about Ice Packs and pain Modalities like a Tens?Can I use them?
    Please ,someone Help!!
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi Grace,

    I'm sure others will be responding re what you can do to control the pain during the flight.

    Beyond that though, try and pace yourself and delegate. I've also let go of some things that I used to do. I no longer do cards, I shop online whenever possible, and if I have to go out shopping in person, I make sure I know exactly what I'm looking for before I go otherwise it's too hard.

    I hope you end up having a really nice time on your week away despite the pain.
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
    ~Joseph Campbell
    peskypain responded:
    I do most all my shopping online and then with many of my younger relatives/friends...I just get VISA gift cards for them. Everyone says they love them since they can use them to buy whatever they like..

    It's so much more important to me to save all my energy for visiting people and spending quality time with family and friends.

    I just do my cards a little bit at a time so that I don't end up hurting my neck too much. I also wear my neck brace while writing them so it keeps me from getting sore.

    And it's really a mental thing about flying....instead of getting yourself all nervous about it...try changing your thought process of it being something you love to do! I is absolutely awesome to be in the air flying over the country or water. And as you's so much safer than even being in a car...

    For those who need it, there is always taking an anti-anxiety medication or muscle relaxer beforehand and just bring books, or movies so that you can stay occupied during the flight...I miss it as I haven't been able to afford traveling lately. I would fly pretty much every month between my job and leisure time...

    And not sure about your end questions...are you asking if you can use these things on a plane? I'm not sure about a TENS unit but I can't see why not after the plane takes off most electronic devices are fine. And you can always call the airline to ask about an ice pack but I can't see that being a problem as it will go through screening...but not sure if they put that the same as a 3 ounce limit like they do on other things...So that should be easy to check.

    I bring my neck brace, my own super soft head pillow and blanket (Don't like their scratchy ones)...

    And then I have audible books on my phone and movies for my computer and I am all set!

    I just LOVE the holidays starting from Halloween to New Years..

    It's just about weeding out the stuff that isn't important..No one cares if you bring a pre-cooked item to a party instead of doing it yourself...or whether you spent hours in a mall as you can find the same thing online these days.

    It's about laughter, joy, yummy food, and memories with people you love:) The pain will be with me no matter what so I am determined to enjoy my ride in this life!
    Debb60 responded:
    Happy Thanksgiving Grace. Take it easy and enjoy each of the moments as they come. Blessings and peace, Deb-b
    Peter Abaci, MD responded:
    There is already a lot of great advice here, but I think this time of year can be especially challenging for many. Try your best to maintain a balance between doing things for others (like sending cards or shopping) and taking care of your own health and well-being. I think it is important to budget some time each day for yourself, where you aren't doing things for others. It can also be helpful to unplug for a short period of time each day where you are away from smart phones, computers, and shopping malls. Consider creating a schedule for some of your Holiday obligations and try pace yourself and avoid going overboard on the time that you pencil in for things.

    In addition to all of the added physical challenges of trying to keep up with the Holiday rush, I think this can be a very stressful time of year, as well. That stress can come from many different places including family, finances, winter weather, and just trying to keep up with everything. Keeping stress levels down can help keep pain under control. Exercise can help boost mood and lower stress, too.

    Air travel can also be a source of stress and physical wear and tear. I recommend always trying to give yourself as much time for everything as possible. Show up early to check in so you don't have to rush and fight through crowds. Consider checking in bags as opposed to hauling heavy carry-ons around. Drink lots of water every chance you get to stay hydrated, and stand up and move around whenever you have the chance. Bringing relaxing music and a TENS unit certainly seems reasonable if they are available.

    Your friends and family will most appreciate the fact that your thoughts are with them above all else.

    Featuring Experts

    Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.