No-one wants back pain for Christmas!
The festive period can be a pain in the neck (and back). It doesn't have to be!
Back pain is one of the top reasons why we visit the doctor and costs the NHS millions.
Problems with backs and necks is one of the primary reasons why people come in to see us at Fire & Earth, and we definitely notice an increase in clients presenting with these issues in January.
Don’t let Christmas be a pain.
Here are our top tips for protecting your back and neck from stress and injury this Christmas.
Shopping. Whether you love it or loathe it, shopping can affect your posture and, ultimately, your back
- use a trolley rather than a basket, even if you are only getting a few things
- try to avoid long periods on your feet
- do several small trips rather than one huge & stressful trip
- try to break up the time spent shopping with regular breaks
- wear sensible and supportive shoes
- be aware of lifting anything heavy
- if you are standing in queues try moving your weight from foot to foot
- try to avoid carrying too much, and when it comes to carrier bags it is better to carry two bags, one in each hand to distribute the weight more evenly
Online shopping - so you’ve avoided the shops but…
Buying gifts while slouched over your laptop, phone or tablet can affect your posture & cause neck pain due to being hunched over.
- check your posture regularly
- take regular screen breaks, walk around and stretch out
- use the laptop on a table rather than on your knee
Making the place look festive
- take care whilst putting up decorations
- don’t take short cuts
- try to avoid over-reaching as this can put massive stress on your back.
Easier said than done at Christmas, but stress can play a big part at Christmas and this can affect your neck & back. Have a read of our relax and de-stress at Christmas blog.
We all do this… we sit on the floor wrapping presents. This is not a natural position for us and this can cause an extra strain on the neck and lower back. Throw in sitting for a long period, probably cross-legged and on a cold floor, &and you are asking for trouble. Try standing at a table instead.
Planning a road trip to see family and friends?
A poor seating position in your car can lead to back and neck problems. Make sure that the seat is in the correct position for you, and consider using lumbar support. This will support the natural arch of your back. Try not to slouch!
Cooking, eating, drinking and relaxing
The festive period can be a time for lounging on the sofa, eating and drinking more than usual. Your body needs movement so try to stay active!
It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated during the chaos of Christmas but drinking plenty of water will help to reduce the risk of muscle strains.
If you have a large turkey and need to lift it in and out of the oven, it can impact on your back. Take care and ask for help!
Britain’s most popular pastime is now recognised as gaming and electronic gadgets. These can cause a range of persistent back and neck problems due to posture whilst playing. Take regular breaks, stretch and move around!
Take it easy on the alcohol and sugar!
We don’t really recommend coming down chimneys unless you have a good ‘claus’ to do so.
Have a wonderful festive period, be back and neck aware, relax and enjoy!