No one wants to experience pain over the holidays. But the truth is that the holidays are the perfect storm for developing back pain. Take the long hours cooking and baking, shopping, traveling, or wrapping presents and compound it by not having enough time to worry about your nutrition, exercise, or sleep.
The result? Untimely back pain.
Luckily, we’ve compiled some tips to help prevent this from happening to you. Find out how to avoid back and neck pain below.
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Remain Pain-Free in the Kitchen
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes with good arch support when you expect to be cooking for an extended period of time.
- Consider purchasing a rubber mat to stand on while cooking or doing the dishes. These mats help reduce the stress placed on your joints.
- Be conscientious of your posture – don’t hunch while chopping away at the cutting board or scrubbing the dishes. Instead, move the activity to a surface properly suited for your height.
- Utilize proper lifting techniques when removing heavy dishes from the oven.
- When you can perform an activity while seated, take advantage of it. Also, consider purchasing a footstool to prop one leg on while performing seated activities.
- Take a break every 30 minutes to loosen up your neck and back muscles. We understand the pressure of cooking for a crowd, but are certain your family and friends would want you to take it easy.
- Ask for help. It’s unnecessary to cook the entire meal yourself. In fact, we bet everyone would have more fun cooking the meal together.
Remain Pain-Free While Shopping
To avoid back pain from shopping altogether, you can purchase your gifts online. With the click of a button, your packages will be delivered to you with no added strain to your spine.
If you prefer to shop in stores, we recommend using the following tips.
- Dress comfortably by wearing supportive shoes and clothing you can easily move around in.
- Carry a smaller purse or empty any unnecessary items from your usual purse to lighten the load.
- Don’t try to carry too many bags at once. Instead, make frequent stops to unload at your car.
- Take frequent breaks. Just taking a moment to have a seat on a bench and truly enjoy the holiday season can provide your body with a much-needed rest.
Remain Pain-Free While Traveling
- When lifting luggage, make sure to use proper lifting techniques – lift with your legs! If you’re lifting luggage above your head, consider doing so in stages. For example, lift your bag off the floor and onto the seat. Then, lift it from the seat into the overhead compartment.
- While we’re talking about luggage, pack light. How many pairs of socks could you possibly need?
- Bring your own back support for the car or plane. We guarantee your spine will thank you after an hour or two.
- Move around as much as you can. An inactive spine is never a healthy one, so try to walk around at every rest stop along the way.
- Stretch your legs and hips prior to your trip and throughout it. These areas often become tight after prolonged sitting.
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Remain Pain-Free While Wrapping Presents
- Fight the urge to sprawl out on the floor with everything. Sitting on the floor often encourages poor posture, which is exactly what your body doesn’t need after a long day of shopping.
- Try wrapping your presents at a table, ensuring your posture is correct.
- When lifting gifts, never do so from the seated position. Twisting in your chair at an unnatural angle to pick anything up is a recipe for back pain.
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