Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while the holiday allows us to spend some valuable time with friends and family, it can also take a toll on our spines. From the long car rides to hours on our feet, there are a number of ways Thanksgiving puts extra stress on our backs. Here’s a look at five Thanksgiving activities that can overstress our spines, and tips to prevent painful flare ups.
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, odds are you’ll be spending a few hours making sure the house is in tip top shape. Hopefully your family can help lend a hand, especially on certain tasks that are more physical in nature, like sweeping, vacuuming or yard work. Divide up the tasks so you and your spine aren’t overburdened as you prepare for the holiday.
Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, being stuck in a seated position for hours can weigh a heavy burden on your spine. Stretch before you hit the road and at times during your trip if possible to help loosen up the muscles in your back, and consider these other tips we have for alleviating pain on long road trips.
Depending on the size of your gathering, odds are you are going to need to whip up a number of different items. Lifting that heavy turkey and regularly bending over to use the oven can put a lot of strain on your spine, which can be problematic if you suffer from disc issues or spinal stenosis. Again, try to get others to help share some of the workload and see if someone with a healthier spine would be willing to help get the turkey in and out of the oven.
Standing in short intervals can be great for our spines because it helps ensure healthy blood can reach all the necessary structures, but standing for hours on end will take a toll on our spines and feet. If you’re prepping or cleaning up, try to find tasks that can be accomplished while sitting down (like chopping vegetables, mashing potatoes or washing the dishes) and alternate tasks so that you aren’t on your feet for hours at a time. Also, be mindful of your posture when standing, because if you’re leaning forward to cut carrots or wash the dishes, you’re putting excess stress on the cervical portion of your spine. Keep your head positioned above your shoulders when possible.
Older individuals are more prone to spinal conditions like bone spurs, stenosis or degenerative disc disease, but they often try to push through the pain to play with their grandchildren. If you’re recently undergone spine surgery or your back has been hurting for some time, be smart about picking up your grandchildren – odds are they are going to be bigger and heavier than the last time you saw them! Instead of bending and lifting them off the ground, have them sit on your lap or next to you on the couch. You can still spend plenty of quality time with them over Thanksgiving without putting extra stress on your spine.
Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!