The starting gun has sounded for the run up to Christmas? Here we go! While the build up can be enjoyable, it can also become very stressful. Not only do we pack in a lot of activities, we can also neglect to do the things that keep us healthy. As the strain builds up in the body it can manifest as back pain, shoulder pain, headaches etc. So how can we safely negotiate our way to Christmas?
First and foremost keep moving. Prolonged periods of sitting and lack of exercise can cause our back to seize up. Also it will lead to a weakened back, which is more vulnerable to going into spasm.
At Christmas you could incorporate a walk as a family especially if you have sat for a prolonged period e.g. the main meal!
You will need a strong back for activities such as, carrying shopping, lifting the Christmas tree, getting the turkey in and out of the oven etc. While going to the gym may be a challenge time wise, vigorous walks using the whole body to move can be a temporary substitute.
Correct technique lifting is important. Never bend at the waist. Always bend at the hips and knees, keep the back straight and use the buttock (and to a lesser degree thigh) muscles to power the lift. If carrying shopping try to balance the weight evenly and take regular breaks.
Ensure you sit with correct posture. This is particularly difficult when sitting on the sofa. When doing this ensure your feet are on the ground, back straight and there are cushions between your back and the back of the sofa to support you in this position. If watching television ensure it is straight ahead of you and you don’t have to twist to view it. As always ensure you have regular breaks and walk in them. Wrapping presents while sitting on the floor is often a source of back pain; try to avoid this and use a desk or dining room table to place the presents on. Maintaining a stooped over posture for prolonged periods is not healthy, so try to stay as upright as possible and take regular breaks.
If all of these precautions fail and you do develop back, neck or shoulder aches and pains please come to see us at the clinic so we can check out what is wrong. It may be that we examine you and determine the problem will go away of its own accord, in which case there will be no charge. Alternatively, if treatment is required, it is easier, cheaper and far more convenient to get relief sooner rather than later.
I hope you have a great Christmas and all the best for the New Year!
Mark, Sarah, Laetitia and all the team at H.C.C.