At this time of year, on top of your normal workload; more time is spent standing, lifting and carrying shopping, not to mention attending more social functions than normal. Bad posture can put unnecessary stress on muscles and tendons. As a result any old lower back and neck niggles can be exacerbated.
Tips to reduce the load on your back and help to prevent low back pain:
When shopping or standing for long periods:
-Wear low heeled, supportive footwear – flat but thin-soled shoes are NOT supportive!
– Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed on both legs, don’t lock your knees and put your weight in your heels
-Try not to hold the same position for too long
-When standing at a bar use the footrest to put your foot on, this flattens your back and reduces the stress through the low back
-If shopping all day take frequent breaks to sit down
-Avoid carrying heavy bags for long periods, and keep your arms close to your body to carry or lift heavy bags to engage more muscle groups
-It’s exhausting enjoying all the festivities. Time for a power nap? Make sure that you are sitting comfortably. Sofas are notoriously bad for your back. The softer they are, the less support they give to your low back. Try to sit upright and put a cushion in the small of your back to give adequate lumbar support.
– ‘Scalectric back/knees’ Dads and Granddads’ are the greatest sufferers of this. The children get a new toy and the adults spend hours bent on their knees over the new toy setting it up and trying to get it to work! When they finally try to get up and move around their knees lock up and the back goes. The answer is simpler than you think – try and use the cleared table or set it up on the bed upstairs.
Remember! When lifting:
-Lifting heavy objects with bad technique is one of the top causes of back pain
-Be realistic about how much weight you can comfortably lift, break things down into smaller loads if you can
-Bend your knees, feet astride, pick up the object and hold it close to your body with your back straight and use your knees to stand up. This protects your spine.
Be safe and sensible this festive season!
From all the team at Evans Osteopaths