Did gift wrapping hurt your back? Are you still feeling stressed out even after the Christmas break and feeling that in your muscles?
Ways that people hurt their back during the holidays:
- Gift wrapping
- Picking up heavy items
- Poor sleep
- Working out to rigorously to lose holiday weight after low activity
- Putting up decorations
- Waiting in long lines
- Poor posture
Improper sitting positions can put unnecessary stress on the ligaments, muscles, and tendons on your low back and deep core muscles. Bad sitting habits can lead up to overall poor posture and poor back health. Here are a few tips to help minimize your back pain, and get you out of agony:
- Avoid sitting on the floor with no back support
- Stay active and stay warm
- Practice safe bending, lifting, and twisting motions/techniques→ lift with your legs and don’t round your back!
- Caution when cleaning – like vacuuming and picking things up off the floor or putting away new gifts that can be heavy
- Take time to decompress and relax
- Eat healthier food
The lower back is particularly vulnerable to weight-related pressure. Nearly ⅓ of Americans have an increased weight-related risk of damaging spinal discs and other structures. Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight can help ease and even prevent future back issues. Losing a few pounds makes a big impact because for every pound you lose, you remove 16 pounds of pressure from your spine. Proper weight loss shouldn’t be dramatic.
Healthy weight loss means only losing 1.5 to 2 pounds per week. Many research studies show that regular exercise and proper nutrition shows the best long-term weight loss. Generally, healthy adults should participate in at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at low to moderate intensity 5 to 6 days out of the week and perform strength training at moderate intensity 2 to 3 times a week. Otherwise, adults who have certain health conditions should speak to an exercise healthcare specialist for a more detailed and specific plan.
Listen to Your Body
Our bodies are one of the best sources of information. The sensations we feel are there for a reason, and they are very important to tune in to. Pushing your body too hard while working out or doing a physical activity when you’re not used to it could wind up working against you. Work your way up to your fitness goals. If you work a desk job and want to become more active, work your way up by gradually increasing your intensity.
Simple Ways of Avoiding Hurting Your Back for Future Holiday Seasons:
- Instead of sitting on the floor, find a table or a counter in your home and stand while you’re gift-wrapping. Try and avoid doing all your gift wrapping for one session, rather, do small increments.
- Try to avoid overindulging or drinking too much during the holidays as overindulging leads to feeling lethargic which leads to less physical activity. Less physical activity can lead to being deconditioned, tired back muscles, and an increased risk of straining your back.
- Proper nutrition is also important as nutrition could be an underlying contributing factor to back pain. Some people have food sensitivities which can lead to inflammation and nerve sensitivity that can contribute to back pain.
- Take breaks! The holiday season can be very hectic especially with trying to get everything done before a certain deadline. Try and take breaks to stretch or get a mini workout in.
If your back is feeling sore/stiff/nagging after the holiday festivities and you would like to talk with a licensed physical therapist for a complimentary discovery session, we would like to invite you to click on the button below and fill out the 35 second form. We will be in touch to make your booking.