The holiday season brings with it lots of festivities and cheer. The shopping, family meals, decorating, and travel all add up to make this a special time of year. They can also add up to make it a physically painful one. Pushing outside of comfort zones and our normal limits can often mean that our bodies just can’t keep up. It isn’t uncommon in the winter months for new back injuries to appear or for old ones to flare. Follow these tips for some of the more common holiday activities, and protect yourself from injury this winter.
- Christmas Decorations – Whether scaling a ladder to hang outdoor lights or stretching to put the star on top of the tree, Christmas décor can mean some serious pain. Avoid any lingering back or neck problems by taking it slowly and ensuring proper posture. When carrying heavy boxes or putting up the tree, be sure to lift properly, squatting and using the knees rather than bending at the waist, and always recruit help when available.
- Traveling – Along with the holidays comes the busiest travel season of the year. At Thanksgiving, long-distance domestic travel increases by 54 percent and by 23 percent at Christmas and New Year’s. The extra hours spent sitting in a car or on a plane and hefting large suitcases can easily strain the back. When traveling, be cognizant of seated posture. Keeping feet flat on the floor and your back straight will help alleviate pressure on the spine that can cause pain later.
- Shopping – Pounding the pavement (or shopping mall floor) while in search of the perfect gift can also be a problem for those who aren’t careful. While your spine may be the scaffolding that supports your body and holds everything together, think of your feet as the foundation. Without proper support, the scaffolding will inevitably breakdown. Choosing shoes with an appropriate amount of support will help you continue your tasks for hours while also protecting your back.
Enjoy your holiday season this year, but make sure you don’t pay an uncomfortable price for all of the festivities later. A few simple precautions can help protect your back from injury and ensure that you enjoy a pain-free winter. Keep the tips above in mind whether you are decorating, traveling, or shopping. You’ll be glad you did.
Of course, we understand that some instances of injury may simply be unavoidable. If you do find yourself dealing with back pain, contact SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers, and let one of our highly qualified physiciansin Belmont, Gastonia, or Denver help get you back on track. Simply click hereto request your appointment at any of our offices. Happy holidays!