Category: Procedures | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and while you may be looking forward to family, friends and good food, this holiday can be especially taxing for your spine. Whether you’re in charge of cooking the bird or you’re just looking forward to taking a nap on the couch after lunch, your spine can be in for a world of hurt if you’re not careful. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you survive all aspects of your Thanksgiving celebration.
The Car Ride
If you’re traveling down the road or hours across the state, you’ll want to keep some tips in mind during your commute. Make sure you have good posture when you’re in the car, and pick your seat wisely so you have room to stretch out so your back isn’t cramped. If you have pain medications or take anti-inflammatories, take them before you get in the car so you can stay ahead of your pain. Also, it’s a good idea to leave a little bit early in case you need to stop and stretch out your back and body if you have a particularly long road trip this Thanksgiving.
If you’re cooking, don’t try to do everything. Assign jobs or have family bring side dishes because if you’re hunched over a kitchen counter or mashing potatoes for hours, you’re going to feel it in your spine. Again, give yourself some extra time so you can factor in some much-needed breaks. When it comes to eating, pace yourself and try to eat a range of foods, as sugary and starchy foods can contribute to the onset of inflammation in your spine. Have good seated posture throughout the meal, and your back will thank you for it. Finally, remember that all those extra calories can turn into added weight, which will be shouldered by your spine as you move, so try to avoid overeating, which we know is easier said than done.
Take turns doing dishes, because being hunched over a sink isn’t good for your back. If your only goal after a meal is to take a nap, find a bed. If you nap on a couch or in a chair, you’re much more likely to fall asleep in a position that is stressful for your spine. If you don’t want to wake up with a pain in your neck or lumbar spine discomfort, take that nap in a bed.
The Rest of The Day
When you’re not eating or catching up with relatives, consider doing something active. Whether that’s playing a game of football in the backyard, taking the dog for a walk or playing with the kids on the playset, activity will help strengthen your spine and prevent it from staying in one position too long, which can lead to overstress injuries. Being active can also start burning off all those extra calories you just ate! Don’t just sit on the couch the rest of the day, find some ways to stay active.
Thanksgiving is tougher on our spines than we might imagine, but it doesn’t have to be if you plan ahead and take some simple steps to protect your back. If you’re dealing with back pain this time of year, do yourself a favor and reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.