Advice for a healthier Christmas from Health on Hand Mansfield, 15 St John Street, Mansfield.
For those that experience back pain year round, it’s nothing new that the ongoing tasks of the Christmas season – decorating, dinners, travelling, etc. – can exacerbate it. But because the holiday season can be strenuous, it can easily cause aches and pains in just about anybody. So whether you normally experience back pain or not, below are several suggestions of what you can do to prevent it.
– This first is the most obvious, but it should be mentioned. No matter what you are lifting, even if it doesn’t seem to be that heavy, you should always lift with your legs. Bend at the knees, not with your back, when lifting anything. Following this rule should help absorb a lot of the shock of lifting objects into your knees instead of your back, and will help prevent having to deal with a lot of pain later on.
– Move around as much as you can. Sitting or lying in one place for awhile can strain the back muscles, as well as weaken them. The same goes if you feel a craving to head to bed because of back pain – it will only make you more susceptible to back pain. Instead, try combating it by moving around. Make it fun by walking around the neighbourhood with family to look at Christmas lights!
– When hanging decorations in a high place (such as lights, ornaments high on the Christmas tree or a tree topper, etc.), stand on a stepping stool. Never try to stretch and reach beyond a comfortable limit – a lot of people don’t realize the strain that
stretching past our limits can put on our back, which has a good chance of resulting in back pain.
– When travelling for a decent amount of time, make sure not to sit in the same spot for hours on end – doing so can cause major tension in the muscles, including the back. If you’re travelling by plane, drink plenty of water so you’ll have the excuse of using the bathroom so you can get up and move a little. If travelling by car, try to schedule some rest stops every now and then so you can stretch your muscles and walk around a bit.
– Also when traveling, pack along items that can relieve back pain in case you do experience it. A cold or hot pack, a back pillow, and some pain relief medicine are all things you will be glad to have if you do end up having a sudden bout of pain.
– Spending all day in the kitchen is a huge factor for causing back pain. You may not realize it while you’re in the middle of trying to create the perfect Christmas dinner, but bending up and down in front of the stove all day, pulling a heavy turkey or ham in and out of the oven, you may be hurting your back which you’ll surely notice later on. Instead, have someone help you with the kitchen tasks. Even if you don’t have anyone to help you, you can still help yourself by kneeling down with a straight back when lifting food from the oven. This will help prevent tension and strain in the back.
– Often with the holidays can come a lot of stress. When stress happens, the muscles tend to tense up – especially the back and shoulder muscles. Make sure you take the time to relax and calm yourself every now and then – even just a warm bath should help. Adding calming oils like lavender, scented candles and relaxing music will make it even easier to relax.
– Try to stretch before becoming involved in any chore or activity.
A good stretching technique, which also helps to strengthen the muscles over time, are wall crunches. To do this, stand with your back to the wall.
Start slowly bending your knees, holding your back to the wall, as you slide down. Do not bend your knees past a comfortable point. When you reach that point, count to 5 and then slowly start sliding back up. Repeat this a few times. Doing this before any activity or just a few times a day can help prevent back pain as well as strengthen the muscles for the future.
Give the gift of better health this Christmas!
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For further information or to book a FREE assessment or a consultation please call Health on Hand Mansfield on 01623 635333 Or visit www.healthonhand.co.uk