Christmas is right around the corner, and the holiday season can be a tough on your spine. That being said, if you know what activities can stress your spine, you can do some things to help keep your back injury free this season. Today, we take a look at five ways you can protect your spine from injuries during Christmastime.
Spine Health and the Holidays
Here are five things you can do to keep your spine healthy this holiday season.
1. Exercise – The holidays can be a hectic time of year, but make it a point to get regular exercise throughout the holiday. Whether this means getting up a little earlier or staying up a little later, find time to get your workout in. Exercise helps to strengthen spinal muscles and prevent inflammation from developing, all which help your spine remain pain free.
2. Food Choices – Between Christmas candy and the holiday ham, it can be very easy to make some poor dietary choices this time of year. Foods with excess carbs and sugars can contribute to the onset of inflammation in your spine, not to mention weight gain, which forces your spine to shoulder more stress. We’re not expecting you to be perfect this holiday season, but do try to make a conscious effort to make some better food choices.
3. Stretch Before Activity – Whether you’re going out to shovel the driveway or grabbing the ice skates and heading to rink, make sure you stretch out your spine and whole body before jumping into activity. If you don’t, you’re at a greater risk for spinal muscle strains and sprains. Five minutes of stretching can go a long way in preventing seasonal spinal injuries.
4. Travel Plans – Traveling for the holidays can be a pain, but it can also manifest into physical pain if you’re not careful. If you’re already dealing with spine pain, take some steps before you get in the car or on the plane to ensure that traveling doesn’t make it worse. Take anti-inflammatory medications, leave earlier so you can stop and stretch if need be, pack a small pillow or towel to put behind your back if you’re the driver to help keep your posture in check, and get up and move around at every stop to help improve blood flow to the spine.
5. Decorating Safety – Your tree and lights are probably already up, but they also have to come down in the not-so-distant future. If you have to go up on a ladder, especially if there’s snow on the ground, make sure you have someone to secure the ladder so it doesn’t slip. Also, don’t try to move that heavy tree onto the curb by yourself. Nearly 6,000 people injure their spines every year when decorating and cleaning up after holidays. Ask for assistance so you don’t become one of them.