All I want for Christmas is a healthy back

Use these tips to ensure your back stays healthy this Christmas time…

My Christmas tree, is it easy to carry?

Do you have a natural Christmas tree? Or is it an artificial one? Either way you need to consider how heavy it is when you go to carry it, position it and decorate it. After all ‘tis the season to keep the spine healthy’.

Christmas time is family time, so ensure you use your family around you to help lift those heavy and awkwardly shaped trees. Remember to bend your knees and stick your bottom out to protect the spine. Try and decorate your tree in the middle of the room so it is easier on your back. This will prevent you from having to bend around the tree to decorate to corners and wrap the sparkly lights around. Again, get some help when moving the tree into position & enjoy decorating J.

Lots of presents to get? Try not to develop ‘Shoppers shoulder’

This phenomenon is all too common especially amongst the majority of us that leave our Christmas shopping till the last minute and end up having to do it all in one trip. Whilst shopping, try and spilt the load evenly to prevent overloading one side of your body. A rucksack may be the answer if you need your hands to pick up more presents. If all fails, try online shopping which may take away part of the fun of shopping but would also take away the strain on your shoulders.

Sending cards & Wrapping presents?

Use a table and sit on a chair keeping a good posture. Leaning awkwardly over a coffee table or on the floor can again cause pressure to increase in your lower back.

Cooking that yummy Christmas dinner

Food prep involves a lot of time leaning over the sink either peeling endless amounts of vegetables or washing up the piles of cutlery and dishes that you get dirty. The lower back will be constantly strained in this leant over position. Therefore it’s important to change your position regularly.

When lifting the turkey or roasties out of the oven keep your back straight, bend your knees and stick your bottom out. You can break this down into stages by putting the turkey/ roasties onto a stool from the oven then when ready lift it up to the worktop.

You can use the same technique for lifting the turkey out the oven to loading your dishwasher after the feast. Keep back straight, bend knees and stick bottom out.

Christmas afternoon nap… who doesn’t have one?

With your belly full of delicious turkey and Christmas pudding, your favourite armchair calling and the Queen has just finished her annual words of wisdom then it’s inevitable that your eyelids will start to get heavy. However, prolonged sitting in poor positions can increase the pressure and strain through your spine and will increase the risk of back pain.

A good idea is to go for a walk which will get you moving to reduce the risk of your back getting stiff and will also aid digestion meaning you can eat even more later on….win win!

New Year’s resolution, get fit?

The most common New Year’s resolution is “to get fit and lose weight” but how will you sustain this throughout the year? Be sure to chose something that you enjoy and don not over do things too soon. If you are not used to exercising, gradually increase your activity level so you don’t over use your body and become injured. An injury can put you off track and it is important to try and maintain realistic goals.

Have a happy healthy Christmas from Philgood rehabilitation.

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