This time of year may involve a fair bit of stress, trying to make everything ready for the Christmas holidays.
Here are a few tips to consider before you do something silly to injure your back. The tips are also to help you enjoy this magical time.
Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain
- When getting the Christmas tree, be careful when you lift it and get it into the car. Avoid leaning forwards too far and then twisting, as those are the worst movements for your back. The pictures below illustrate the wrong and right ways of lifting your tree. To move your tree safely, stand close to it, keep your back in a ‘neutral’ position. Then use your legs to take the strain by bending your knees. Then stick your buttock out with your abdomen ‘braced’.
- If you are using a tree bucket, fill it in the house or get help to lift and move a heavy bucket. Always position the tree before you take its cover off and before decorating it.
- When decorating the tree, don’t try to reach too far around the back of the tree with the lights, get help or Use a step ladder rather than stretching.
- Don’t sit to write cards for hours on end as you may feel OK while you are doing it, and then feel pain and stiffness in your shoulders, neck region and lower back later on when you try to move. Take regular breaks, stretch and move around (also when doing housework or cooking).
- Always get help lifting awkward items.
- When you are laying the table, walk around it and don’t reach over. It may take a few more seconds of your time, but it will save you a lot of pain later on.
- When you put the turkey into the oven, bend your knees and keep the baking tray as close to you as possible. Keep your spine in ‘neutral’ position.
- Don’t just sit indoors. Get out for a regular walk over the holidays, breath the fresh winter air!
- Take it easy on alcohol, sugar and fatty foods, as this may aggravate back pain caused by inflammation.
Remember that the worst movements for your back are bending and twisting and Christmas involves a lot of this kind of movements. You can avoid injury if you think for a few seconds about how you do something before you rush to do it.
We hope you have a wonderful time during Christmas, free from back pain! If however you do need to see us, we are here between Christmas and New Year.
Happy Christmas from Vale Health Clinic.
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