Five Tips for Staying Pain-Free Over the Holidays
December arrives tomorrow and with it, the season for eating great food, spending quality time with loved ones and sharing cherished traditions. Unfortunately, all of the hustle and bustle can also bring you an unwelcome gift — back pain.
Holiday activities such as shopping, wrapping gifts and skating can cause your muscles to work in ways they’re not usually used and can result in neck, shoulder or back pain.
Try these five tips to reduce your chances of pain and strain:
1. Ergonomic Gift Wrapping
After searching high and low for the perfect gifts, it’s time to wrap them up! Rather than spreading out on the floor, use a dinner table or desk. This will make it easier for you to use good posture. Just remember that sitting in one position for too long can put additional strain on your body. Take frequent breaks and stretch your hands, wrists and forearms by clenching your hands and relaxing.
2. Strain-Free Snowman
Building your very own Frosty the Snowman is top of mind for many children once the snow falls. Roll your snowballs into place and work together as a team to lift them when you’re ready. And remember, rule number one is to lift with your legs, not your back!
3. Lift Light to Shovel Right
When shovelling your driveway, let your legs and arms do the heavy lifting instead of relying on your back, and push the snow to one side to avoid throwing it. If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning — face your snowbank and throw the snow straight into it.
For more helpful shovelling tips, see this post: Follow These Tips for Avoiding Injury While Shovelling This Winter
4. Stretch, Skate and Snowboard
It’s time to sharpen your skates and grab your snowboards! To prevent injuries that can plague you for months, remember to stretch before and after you hit the slopes or ice.
A basic go-to is the hamstring stretch:
- Stand tall next to something you can hold on to for support.
- Prop the back of one heel up on a surface like a stair, curb or bench and pull your toes back towards you.
- For a deeper stretch, bend forward slightly at the hips.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
5. Holiday Shopping
Carrying all those bags may be a productive way to move through your Christmas list, but it’s not great for your back. Consider taking a trip to your car to drop off your bags and lighten the load. If that’s not reasonable, take breaks and set your bags down or use a backpack to help distribute the weight.
Take care of yourself during the cold-weather months.
There are lots of ways to make the short winter days a little brighter. The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage encourages you to make your physical and mental health a priority.
We provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.