The holidays are upon us, which means the everyday stress and strain that might be causing you physical pain is about to be magnified. When prepping your home, you’ll probably be twisting and straining your body to do things you seldom attempt the rest of the year.
“It’s rarely one activity or event that leads to major issues with the spine,” said Dr. Brantley Meier of The Bridge Chiropractic in North Charleston. “It is typically consistent, repetitive stress that eventually leads to the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
We’ve listed a few activities that will make you wish you had been visiting your chiropractor regularly, or have you scheduling an appointment in the New Year. Here are some tips to reducing your chances of getting hurt during the holiday season:
Hanging Holiday Decorations and Lights
Whether it be thousands of twinkling lights on a roof or garland on your mantel, you’re putting stress on your spine and shoulders any time you have to reach upward to complete a task. Dr. Meier pointed out that hanging lights puts you in an awkward, sometimes unstable, position, which doesn’t bode well for your health and well-being.
“Keep the spot where you need to hang the lights as close to you as possible and use a stable foundation while hanging them,” he said. “The further from your body you reach and the higher up you have to put your arms, the more potential for pain or injury.”
Carrying Heavy Items
Lifting in the gym generally isn’t a bad thing, but awkwardly lifting and carrying a bulky item might be. These items could include a huge and heavy Christmas tree, a juicy, hefty turkey or simply a large gift.
Dr. Meier pointed out that it’s often difficult to carry an item that isn’t evenly weighted.
“Try to spread the weight of the tree evenly across your body, avoid any type of excessive bending, and establish a steady grip,” he recommended.
Standing on Your Feet All Day
Standing up for long periods of time can put a large amount of pressure on your spine. Whether you are decorating the house, cooking or shopping for gifts, it’s important to be mindful of your back.
“Make sure you have the best posture possible, so you aren’t overly stressing any areas more than others. You can do some exercises, such as glute bridges and ab bracing, which are focused on making sure your core and hips are ready for the constant stress and tension placed on them,” he commented.
Spending Hours Wrapping Gifts
This is usually a tedious and repetitive motion, and, if you are leaning forward for long periods, wrapping presents can literally be a real pain in the neck. It’s not so wonderful for the rest of your body either, Dr. Meier said.
“It can cause your low back muscles to overload, leading to fatigue and breakdown,” he said. “Try to wrap presents on a surface that is around chest level. Take small breaks every 30 to 60 minutes, squeezing your shoulder blades and tucking your chin for five to 10 seconds at a time.”
How often should you visit your chiropractor during the holiday season? It all depends on how much stress you put on your body. Dr. Meier said he probably sees his patients more often once the holiday season has passed, in most cases because they didn’t pay enough attention to their health in November and December.
“Sometimes we avoid taking care of ourselves because we’re just trying to get through the season,” he commented.
To learn more about how chiropractic care can enhance your overall health, visit https://thebridgechirosc.com or call 843-297-4907.