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Festive Back Care Advice From Isis Chiropractic Centres
At Isis Chiropractic Centres during the festive season last year we saw a large number of patients with mainly preventable aches and pains, resulting from the specific activities involved around Christmas and the New Year.
Injuries ranged from small niggling aches from decorating the house all the way to whiplash injuries caused by slipping on ice and weather related road traffic accidents.
Here are a Few Simple Ways to Help Stay Pain Free Over the Festive Season
Out and About
A “White Christmas” means the potential for icy pavements and driveways. So concentrate, take care and always wear sensible flat shoes with gripping soles.
Carrying a lot of shopping at once can put a great strain on the low back and shoulders. Try to ensure that bags are carried evenly between each arm and while standing in a long queue, transfer your weight from left to right foot to keep as mobile as possible. Take regular breaks to allow muscles to relax and recover.
Long car journeys to visit friends and relatives can their toll on your low back, your neck and your shoulders. Always check your driving position and take regular breaks where possible to allow yourself to move around and “stretch your legs”. Allow extra time and take extra car when driving in adverse weather conditions.
Around the Home
Always take great care when rooting around in the loft for decorations and while manoeuvring them out. Try to ensure that you do not adopt a stooped position for a prolonged period of time and make this a two-person job so that there is someone to pass boxes to at the bottom of the ladder.
Hanging decorations and putting up the tree can be an enjoyable but arduous task. To avoid putting strain on your back and shoulders, ensure that you take regular breaks and are not doing the same task in the same position for too long in one go. In addition, never over stretch or try to reach further than is immediately comfortable.
It is always very tempting to spread paper and presents out over the floor to get all the wrapping done in one go. However sitting on the floor for prolonged periods, especially cross legged, can put a lot of strain on your back and hips. Avoid risking injury by working at a table or worktop and straighten up regularly.
The Big Day
Preparing the Christmas meal can require more time and effort than people anticipate. Preparing food at an awkward height over time can put a lot of strain on your low back and mid back. Avoid spending hours stooped over in one session. Consider getting some of the preparation done on Christmas Eve to spread the load and pressure on your back. For example, root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and potatoes can be peeled chopped and then stored overnight ready for the following day.
A large bird can be much heavier than you expect and catch you off guard resulting in injury to your back. Try to treat the lifting and manoeuvring as a two-person job whilst always remembering to bend from the hips and knees when transferring food to and from the oven.
One third of patients report that their back pain is triggered or aggravated by sitting still for a long period of time. Sitting in the same position for prolonged periods puts almost twice as much pressure on the back than when standing. So make sure that you change position regularly and take regular breaks (every half an hour) to get up and walk around.
Finally, try not to fall asleep on the sofa (often easier said than done!) as this can cause the dreaded “crick” in the neck and lead to low back pain also.