Christmas is fast approaching! Which can mean extra stress levels, especially at the weekends when we try and cram in the Christmas shopping and subject ourselves to carrying those gift-laden shopping bags through the crowds. Add to this the extra pressure of cleaning the house, the food preparation and cooking for your friends and family when they come and visit. Plus there is always that trip into the attic to get the Christmas decorations and the tree down! Although the preparations are fun, there is always so much on the Christmas to do list as you get ready for the big day! But beware this can add extra twists and strains on your back – so here are some tips for having a pain free Christmas!
When you are traveling in the car to visit family and friends this can mean sitting in one position for long stretches of time, so make sure when you stop for a break that you try and walk around – even if you do laps around your car.
When putting luggage or presents into the car, avoid lifting with a twist and lift straight with your knees bent. Try and give yourself as much room as possible whilst also being close to the car, this will avoid reaching when lifting your luggage in and out of the car and can help prevent any twists or strains on your lower back.
Using the vacuum cleaner is a daily task around Christmas time as you want to make sure your house is sparkling and extra clean, however, to make it as easy as possible for your lower back, try avoid any twisting as well as bending and pushing with force. Stand as upright as you can to help avoid bending which will help to reduce strains on your lower back.
And we can’t forget the biggest job getting the Christmas tree out of the storage which can mean over- reaching, as well as trying to balance the tree when getting down ladders or through the attic hatch. When getting the decorations out from the shed try and avoid any over- reaching and arching your back which will help to minimise any strains onto your lower back. Often this is a two person job one person to get the decorations and another to keep those ladders stable and so you can pass the decorations to which helps to reduce any stress/strains on your lower back and to stop that ladder wobbling.
Christmas shopping is often a full day with the bags getting bigger and heavier, combined with lots of walking through busy streets-by the end of the day your arms ache, as well as your feet and lower back. It is best to try and keep equal weight of bags on both sides, and to try and use smaller bags that are easier to carry. If you are close to a parked car then a detour to drop off bags may help. If you can’t off load your shopping make sure you take regular breaks, a chance to have a sit down relax and re-energise with a cool drink and a piece of shortbread!