The holidays are an exciting time, but they can also be stressful and even painful. Putting up decorations, cooking all day, wrapping presents, and more can lead back strain. If you want to avoid the holiday back pain blues, we have some suggestions. By avoiding overstraining your back during the holiday season, you can skip the pain and focus on what’s important.

How to Avoid Back Pain

We stand for hours to prepare classic holiday dishes, but all that standing and stooping can wreak havoc on your back. Instead, Preston Chiropractor Cary, NC recommends these tips.

Preparing Meals

When preparing a holiday meal or holiday treats, try sitting down while doing some tasks instead of standing the whole time you cook. You can chop ingredients or decorate cookies while seated. Give your back a break by alternating sitting and standing.

Don’t try to make all your food at once. Plan out your food preparations over several days. Pies and many desserts can be prepared days in advance. Other side dishes like casseroles can be made and cooked the day before and reheated.

While you’re standing, wear comfortable shoes that have good arch support. If you have hardwood or tile floors in your kitchen, stand on a padded or memory foam mat to reduce muscle fatigue in your legs and back.

Eating Meals

Make sure that once you sit down to eat, you don’t slouch. Lousy posture is easy to slide into when one is tired, but it is harmful to the back. Sit up straight. A straight back relieves pressure on the back muscles.

After Meals

It’s common to feel tired after eating a large meal, so opt for a bed if you’re going to nap afterward. Sleeping on a couch or in a chair can cause your body to contort into odd angles that aren’t good for your back and cause strain.

Holiday Decorating

It’s also common to experience back pain while putting up decorations. Remember the basic rule – lift with your legs. Don’t bend the spine when lifting a heavy object. A bent spine and the weaker muscles that support the spine are not strong enough to lift hefty weights. The legs have large, stronger muscles. So, keep the back straight and squat down to pick up heavy items. Use your legs to lift the object and the body to a standing position.

Don’t overextend your limbs while you’re decorating. If something is too far to reach, use a ladder or stool to get to it instead of leaning and reaching your arms too far. Overreaching can strain muscles in your lower and upper back.

Wrapping Gifts

It can take a while to wrap gifts. Leaning to cut paper, tie ribbons, etc. can cause back pain. Even a slight lean can result in a strain. Try standing at a kitchen counter or sitting at a table to wrap gifts.

Watching TV

As with sitting at the table, don’t slouch. Now sometimes that is harder to do in an upholstered chair than at a dining room table. To decrease strain on your lower back, try placing a pillow behind you and switch positions frequently.

Preston Family Chiropractic

Of course, even with all this prevention, we may still exit the holiday season with our bodies feeling out of sorts. Remember to take a break every once in a while to give your body a break. Drink some water, sit on the couch, and take some time to breathe. If you’re feeling some aches and pains, Preston Family Chiropractic is the chiropractor in Cary, NC, to go to get yourself sorted out. Call 919-238-5040 to schedule an appointment.