T’was the week before Christmas, and all through the house… everyone was complaining because their backs were killing them. No, I don’t think that’s how the story is supposed to go either, but for many of us that’s the reality! We’ve just a few days to go now before we close for Christmas, and as usual, we’re seeing a spike in back pain – here’s some top tips to save off back pain this Christmas!
Exercise your back regularly – walking, swimming (especially back stroke) and using exercise bikes are all excellent to strengthen your back muscles but anything that you enjoy and helps you keep active will be beneficial. If you’re exercising outside, take care to wrap up warm and avoid cramp and injury.
2) If you get painful or stiff – keep moving.
For many years, “bedrest” was the recommended approach to back pain – but we now know better. If you do get some minor issues, keep active and moving even when you have pain. Gentle walking and stretching will prevent stiffness. Also try to avoid long periods of bed rest as this is counterproductive.
3) Lift correctly!
Always lift and carry objects close to your body, bend your knees and your hips not your back and never twist and bend at the same time.
4) Lifestyle changes
Ok, Christmas may not be the best time fo this – but new years is soon to follow! Try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle as this will help prevent back pain. Quit smoking as it increases your chances of developing back pain.
5.) Use painkillers where needed (but don’t overuse)
Painkillers and NSAID’s such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to control pain in the short term and should be viewed as a tool to allow you to carry on being active. This might free you up enough to stretch, move and massage the sore spots so that the pain can be addressed. If this does not work, head for the chiropractor.
6) If you’re working from home, check your posture!
Most of our workplaces are bad enough as far as posture goes – homeworking is often much worse! True, your cubicle does not have the best view, but it does have a proper office chair. If you’re working from home, invest in a proper chair and arrange the workplace so that your screen as at eye level. Your neck will thank you!
7) Going (out) shopping?
Single handled bags are an excellent way to injure your spine (especially if you’re lucky enough to have filled them up!) Try to carry loads in a rucksack and use both shoulders to distribute the weight.
8) Maintain good posture.
Avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over your desk and walking around with your shoulders hunched up – we all do this without realising it, so address it consciously when you can.
9.) Put your feet flat on the floor when sitting
Another home working tip here – Always use a chair with a backrest and sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. Doing this goes a long way to forcing your spine into a much healthier position – if you cant put your feet on the ground, you’re in a bad position!
10) See a chiropractor
Of course, we recommend you see a chiropractor regularly – but keep in mind that we will be closing soon for Christmas and due to COVID we do have limited appointments, so book today and get in before the festive season really begins.