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The festive period can be a pain in the neck & back. It doesn't have to be! 

Back pain is one of the top reasons why we visit the doctor & costs the NHS millions. Problems with backs & necks is one of the primary reasons why people come in to see us at Fire & Earth. 
 
Don’t let Christmas be a pain, be back & neck aware. Here are our top tips for protecting your back & neck from stress & injury this Christmas. 

Shopping. Love it or loathe it, shopping can affect your posture &, 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 & 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 & 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. 

Avoid stress 

Easier said than done at Christmas, but stress can play a big part at Christmas & this can affect your neck & back. 

Wrapping 

Now we all do this… we sit on the floor wrapping presents. This is not a natural position for us & this can cause an extra strain on the neck & lower back. Throw in sitting for a long period, probably cross-legged & on a cold floor, & 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 & neck problems. Make sure that the seat is in the correct position for you, & consider using lumbar support. This will support the natural arch of your back. Try not to slouch! 

Cooking, eating, drinking and relaxing 

Really? Yes! 
 
The festive period can be a time for lounging on the sofa, eating & 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 & need to lift it in and out of the oven, it can impact on your back. Take care & ask for help! 
 
Britain’s most popular pastime is now recognised as gaming & electronic gadgets. These can cause a range of persistent back & neck problems due to posture whilst playing. Take regular breaks, stretch & move around! 
 
We don’t really recommend coming down chimneys unless you have a good ‘claus’ to do so. Have a wonderful festive period, be back & neck aware, relax & enjoy! 
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