The festive season is upon us, bringing with it the joy and merriment of Christmas. However, as physiotherapist Kaylee knows all too well, this time of year can also mean facing the dreaded lower back pain for some. Whether hauling the Christmas tree from the attic, bending over the oven for the perfect turkey and mince pies, or the frantic last-minute shopping rush, these activities can take a toll on your back.
Lower back pain is often a mechanical injury resulting from overload. The structures in your back try to cope with the increased demand until they reach a breaking point, leading to a “strain”. The holiday season, with its deviation from our regular routines, often leads to this sudden increase in load and, consequently, back pain.
But don’t let back pain dampen your holiday spirit! Most back strains improve within 4-6 weeks. With a bit of care and prevention, you can avoid these strains altogether.
Here are some tips to keep your back happy this Christmas:
Take Regular Breaks: Whether you’re decorating, cooking, or shopping, remember to take breaks. Tackle tasks in smaller chunks instead of all at once.
Ask for Help: Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance with heavy lifting or reaching high places.
Proper Lifting Technique: When lifting, bend your knees and lower your body towards the object instead of leaning forward from your waist.
Use a Step Ladder: Avoid overreaching using a step ladder for high decorations.
Enjoy the Season: Set aside time to relax and enjoy the festivities with loved ones.
Mind Your Posture: Avoid prolonged sitting, especially during work or while wrapping gifts.
Moderate Indulgences: Enjoy the festive treats and drinks, but remember that excessive alcohol and sugar can increase inflammation.
If you do experience lower back pain during the holidays, here are some home management tips:
1. Use a heat pack or hot water bottle to relax tight muscles.
2. Maintain gentle movements to regain function.
3. Ibuprofen can help, but always consult your doctor before taking any medication.
4. Seek help from a injury specialist or MSK physiotherapist.
We hope you won’t need us for a Christmas injury, but if you do, Nordic Balance is here to help you through the festive season and beyond. Book a free 15 minute online consultation with a physiotherapist at Nordic Balance.
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