Unpredictable weather and COVID statistics continue to keep many of us confined to our homes. The holiday season brings with it a new list of tasks, many of which can add stress to the body if not handled properly. Winter celebrations mean gift exchanges and grand family meals, but also the potential for back injuries.
Decorating for the holidays involves lots of lifting, stretching, and balancing on ladders to make sure everything is secure and straightened. Once the tree is up, you then have to deal with the cooking — especially bending into the oven to check on the turkey — the wrapping, and shoveling the walk when a heavy snow falls. To enjoy a safe Christmas and New Year, all the while staying out of the doctor’s office and/or ER, you will need to mind your back and joint health.
Stretch It Out
Just as you would stretch and warm up before exercising, the same applies to other physical activities around the house. The time you take to stretch your back and leg muscles and loosen up tight areas will help in the long run. Start in the morning when you get up — a yoga pose or two can make a difference — and pause throughout the day to keep your back and body limber.
Get Some Exercise
Regular exercise not only helps reduce joint inflammation, but keeps your back strong and can contribute to good posture. To strengthen your back, incorporate exercises like the bridge and cat poses, abdominal crunches, and seated lower back twists into your routine. Listen to your body as you exercise, and be careful not to overextend yourself.
Know the Basics
As you bring down and put up boxes and displays this season, never forget the golden rule: lift with your knees and not your back! You are less likely to injure yourself when your back is not doing the heavy work. Keep your posture straight, bend low, and use your legs.
When you feel good you’ll enjoy the holidays. At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians and therapists are here to help with joint pain and related injuries any time of the year. Contact us today to learn more about our treatments and programs.