The truth is that the holidays are the perfect storm for developing back pain. Take the long hours wrapping presents, traveling, or slaving over the stove and compound it by not having enough time to worry about your nutrition, exercise program, or sleep.
The result? Untimely back pain.
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.
- 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.
Now that you’re armed with all the tips you need to breeze through the holidays pain-free, who’s ready to celebrate? As always, give us a call if you have a question regarding your back pain or if it persists for more than a month or two. Happy holidays!