Avoid “Santa Spine” This Holiday Season
Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 26, 2017
It’s Santa’s time to shine, and while we all hope to bring a little holiday cheer this season, we don’t want to end up looking like Santa when he’s hunched over carrying his sack of toys. The holiday season can be very tough on our spine, and if we’re not careful, injuries can set in. Today, we share some tips for avoiding “santa spine” this season.
If you’re headed out to the mall to do some shopping, be smart about how you do it. Wear comfortable and supportive shoes to help take some stress off your spine, and try to balance your bags on either side of your body. If your right arm is carrying a lot more weight than your left, it’s going to affect your posture and gait. Try to balance things out, or better yet, make a pit stop at your car to unload any heavy bags.
Cutting down or assembling a Christmas tree can put a lot of stress on your spine, so make sure you stretch a little before you begin. If the tree or box is heavy, have another person help you move it into position. Do not try to lift something that is too heavy on your own. Use proper mechanics when cutting down the tree, and take breaks if your arm, shoulder or spine begins to hurt.
Lights and Ladders
If you need to jump on a ladder to hang decorations or remove lights, make sure that you have a second person to help secure the ladder. Every year around this time medical centers get an uptick of patients with acute back injuries that occurred as a result of falling off of an unsecured ladder. If you’re working at a great height, consider investing in a harness.
Suitcases and Travel
If you’re packing your bags and hitting the road this winter, keep your spine in mind. Don’t overload your suitcase, because heavy bags can lead to muscle sprains and strains as you lift and move them in and out of vehicles or over stairs. If you’re driving to your destination, leave a few minutes early so you can take some stretch breaks along the way, and be sure to pack any pain medications you might need. If your prescription is running low, get it refilled well before you leave on your trip.
Whether you’re baking a Christmas ham or just doing frozen pizzas, many people spend a good chunk of time in the kitchen this holiday season. Ask relatives to bring dishes so you’re not bending, twisting and whisking by yourself for hours and hours, and if you have a heavy dish, ask for help getting it in and out of the oven. Also, remember to try and make some good dietary choices this season. We know that’s easier said than done, but extra holiday weight just means more stress that your spine has to handle.