Tips for having a healthy spine and back during the holidays:
- Travel light: If you are traveling during the holiday, stress can quickly become physical. As you plan on what to take with you, remember that the heavier your suitcases and the more of them you carry, the greater the load you place on your back.
- Pack well: Once you have carefully chosen what you intend to pack, it is important toconsider the load balance. Try to put larger, heavier items on the bottom of the suitcase. Or if you are carrying a bag or backpack, place heavier items so that they are closest to your body. Lighter things should go toward the outside of the suitcase.
- Mind your body biomechanics (how your body moves): The law of physics states that the further away a load is from your core body, the harder you have to work to carry it, and the more stress it puts on your joints. Translation: Carry your suitcases, bags close to your body.
- Be prepared for en-route pain, discomfort or strain: Remember to pack your over-the-counter pain relievers when getting ready for holiday celebrations and/or dealing with more than the usual amount of stress.
- Position yourself wisely: The stress of the pressures that seem to come from the holiday season may lead to back spasms. If your back does seize, try lying on your back with your knees bent and low legs supported. You can lie on the floor, bend your knees and place your legs on the seat of a chair. If you are not able to get to the floor, lie on the bed, support your legs so your knees are at 90 degree angles.
- Stretch: Back pain is often caused by tension in the muscles around the hips and pelvis. Chronic tension and tension from physical activity may change the alignment of your spine and pelvis. Try stretching your back and hip muscles.
- Do your back exercises: Back exercises do not really take an extended length of time. You know you feel better when you do them! If you can’t squeeze in the entire routine, don’t allow that to keep you from doing something.
- Stay active: Studies suggest that fit people have less back pain. Try to do some form of physical activity every day or every other day. Take a walk with relatives or friends not only to help you minimize holiday weight gain, but may also keep your back in good shape.
- Manage your medications: Be vigilant about maintaining your current medication schedule. Ask your doctor if you need to adjust your medication to assist you in dealing with holiday stress.
- Know when you need a doctor: When in doubt about your back pain, call your doctor. If you are having problems controlling your bladder and /or your legs have been becoming weaker, you should see a doctor or go to the emergency room. If you have a fever, prompt attention is important. Pain and other nerve symptoms down a leg or arm, pain that worsens when you bend your spine, traumas to the spine and pain that lasts longer than 3 weeks are also serious.
Thatcher Chiropractic is located at 3535 American Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80917 near the intersection at Austin Bluffs Parkway and Academy Boulevard. For more information you can visit our website at thatcherchiropractic.com. If you have additional questions or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact us by phone. You can reach us at (719) 574-3700.