The 12 Days of Health and Wellness: Day 4, Watch Your Back

Back pain is a common occurrence during the holidays.  Common holiday activities like shopping, cooking, and decorating can put a lot of stress on the back.  Low back pain can put a real damper on the cheer of the holiday season.  The good news is that there are ways to relieve or minimize the pain.

These are some tips to avoid holiday back pain:

  • Always lift with your legs.  Bend at the knees rather than at the waist when picking anything up.  No matter what you are picking up - groceries, gifts, grandchildren - bending at the waist will put a lot of strain on the low back.
  • When hanging decorations in a high place, use a step stool.  Avoid reaching and stretching beyond a comfortable limit.  
  • Have someone help you in the kitchen when you are making your holiday meal.  Cooking for long periods strains both the neck and the low back.  The neck gets strained from looking down for a long period and the low back gets strained from leaning forward over the counter or table.  Be sure to take breaks every 20-30 minutes to stretch and stand up straight.
  • Leave your heavy purse at home whenever possible.  Try to carry only the necessities with you. (See our previous blog article for more information about the effects of carrying a heavy purse).
  • If you start to feel pain, use an ice pack.  Rather than waiting to see if the pain will go away, nip it in the bud, and use ice immediately.  Apply the ice to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for at least an hour.  Repeat as needed.
  • Perform daily low back stretches.    
  • Perform core strengthening exercises daily.  
  • When watching football on the couch, put a small pillow behind the small of the low back.  
  • Visit your chiropractor.  Chiropractors use very specific adjustments to get rid of back pain.

Drs. Quintin and Katie Sleigh are experts at relieving upper back and low back pain for the residents of the Arlington Heights, IL and northwest Chicago suburbs areas.  Call 847-788-0880 to schedule a FREE consultation! 

Source: The American Chiropractic Association www.acatoday.org/HealthTips

Photo Credit to: staceysnacksonline.com

 
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