Christmas might have passed a few days ago, but that doesn’t mean your back has. The holidays should be a time of shaking uncle Louis hand, giving your closest relatives and Parents A huge hug and enjoying the good old “How Have you been” conversation. But what do you do when your luck strikes out and you’re faced with a different reality?
The holidays, Christmas let alone can be a time of stress and one back ache after the next. For many of us with back pain, the simple tasks of picking up the arron of doing the grocery shopping, setting up the christmas tree, and things like opening up a gift has its dier consequences.
I don’t know about you, but either way I’m always excited, and I don’t let the big things get the best of me. In fact, for a day, I can make the big things become a fading background.
This year you need to plan, and make it on the double too because 7 days after Christmas guess waht comes next, NEW YEARS EVE.
The right approach this Chrismtas year is to plan ahead so you can get your chores done in the most minimum amount of pain. I’m going to show you how you can do that with these 10 amazing tips, and I’ll show you what you can do during and after christmas time.
So let’s jump on in!
1. Shoppping. Isn’t it funny how I’m not starting with the good ol “fix your posture”, make sure you exercise first, or eat better routine? That’s because shopping always seems to be the reason after to focus on all these things. Its in our human nature to head out the door and grab what we need physcially before we work on ourselves. A huge reason people endure back pain during their christmas shopping is becuase they’re not careful about their movements. One twist, one bend or pull can be the difference from having sciatic pain.
The best way I learned to do my shopping during Christmas time is all online. We have the internet and its only growing in size as to the amount of online shoppers. Rather than picking up your gift cards, or groceries from the store you can shop online for either section and get them delivered to your door. These sits include:
- Uber eats
…And so many more retailers that you quite possibly are already familar with. But if lets say you do want to run into your local retailer and make your purchases that way, I don’t blame you. I’m going to guide you on how to do it properly so you limit 1. hurting your back, and 2. Casuing more damage to the already exsisting pain.
TIP #1: Stretch Before. Now I know what you’re thinking, really?? I have to stretch to go into the store? YES. Hear me out. By stretching, you will allow more oxygen to enter through your blood vessels, allowing for your muscles to de contract, and giving them more elasticity. When this happens, you give your bones, and muscles more resistance from feeling tension and pressure. How will this help you when shopping?
Lets say for example you have to get on your tippy toes to pick up the missle toe from the highest shelf. In this position, you are usually placing tension on your legs that radiate up to your lower back. It’s not a matter of if but when your legs will give out on you. And usually in this position, your balance is not setup right, and sometimes you lean in too far.
Here’s what I want you to do:
Do a Calf Soleous Stretch.
How to do:
- Find a clear area
- Place one foot and leg in front of the other
- Place your hands on the side of your hips
- Keep your back as straight as possible
- While holding your back straight, lean in just a little
- You should feel a stretch in your groin
- Hold it for 25 seconds
- Switch legs and repeat
What this will do is allow your back to maintain its proper posture while strengthening your hips. The hips is like the middle man…
Above you have your lumbar, and below your hips are your hamstrings, and what runs through it is your grand nerve. Part of the reason we have sciatica pain and constant back pain is becuase our hips are out of alignment. When you shape up your hips, you’re strengthening the SI Joint.
Tip #2: Know What You’re Cooking
Are you the one who not suprisingly always gets the cooking repsoinbilitties? The better question to ask is will you have a big crowd over? Most of the time we can get away with cooking a smaller portion sized meal, and that may look like this:
Throwing something quick in the microwave. But not when it comes to a big family. The A game gets brought out in us. I want you to think about what you want to cook, and seperate the easier meals from the ones that will take more time to prepare and cook. Now, go after the ones that take more time, and that’s becuase you are not going to be in a hurry, and you’ll be able to manage your time better.
One thing I notice I do is I like to sit down if I can. When standing is not going to work out like we thought, sitting will help reduce the strain on your lower back. If you’re going to chop up some gree beans, potatoes, why not do it while you’re sitting down?
What this does is place no pressure on your legs, or back, but you have to be careful about hunching over. What I would suggest you do is use a back seat cushion in this case. It’ll allow you to keep your back straight with the extra padding from the seat.
And if you have to stand up to chop, make sure you take breaks in between. Chop for like 20-30 seconds, and then step back, give your back less tension.
Afte the meal:
When your dinner is over with, don’t take it upon yourself to do all the cleaning up. Ask for your guests to give you a hand.
3. Decorate With Intent
When it comes to decorating I can’t raise my hand and say I’m the one who does it all. I usually see my mom or girlfriend doing that part. But do I just sit around and wait for them to get done? No, I offer a hand. 9 times out of 10, the decorating is always left to one person, and from the long years of seeing my mom go at it alone, WOW it does take a lot of work. She’s over here bending to put ornaments up, sitting to grab the accessories for decorating the house, climbing up and down the stiars, pushing in plugins. All that is arecipe for a bad back.
So here’s what I want you to do:
Simple, Don’t go at it oyurself. If you can get a hand from a family member or a friend, call them over as soon as possible. One person can bring down the christmas tree from the stored compartment or pick it up from a Christmas tree location and place the items where they need to be. And let this other person hand you over the ornaments, while you place them on the tree. This will help you not to bnend over, twist and pull.
4. Take Care Of Your Body.
This ones for me guys, and I do laugh at myself. What I’m talking about is over eating. I’m never one bite away from stuffing my plate with another 3rd, filling up my side plate with treats, and smashing out the Cola. But it taste so good, why do I need to give it up? Who said anything about giving it up?
Christmas seems to put many people off their normal eating routine and exercise.And I know its very tempting to let these things go. DON’T DO IT! Make sure you’re stretching in between, and if you can get a little yoga or cardio in, by all means do it. Stretching will help you stay limber and give you flexvility and strength. It’s not always easy to stay on track during the Chrsitmas food frenxy, so here are some thing I have for you: