Injuries over the Christmas period can really ruin our plans. Christmas is meant to be a happy time and we don’t want pain ruining it. Over my years as a Chiropractor, I have seen common things that aggravate problems over Christmas. I thought I would put a little blog together to go through some of those to help the people of Ipswich to stay well.
Putting up decorations
Most of us put up an array of decorations at Christmas; lovely lights; an extravagant looking tree. One thing we want to think about is how we do this. It is very common that people come and see me, and things have aggravated after they have put up their decorations. This can be from moving furniture around to make space for the tree or from overstretching trying to put something up.
Ideally if furniture is heavy, or an awkward shape, this is at least a two-person job to move. This can be difficult in smaller spaces but planning how you will move things can make all the difference. We can often be a bit gun-ho. The key thing to always remember is to keep your back straight and don’t let it round a lot.
With decorations, we just need to remember to move along rather than stretch over and use a step to reach up higher. Obviously be careful if using a chair, ideally having a helper holding the seat can make all the difference.
Wrapping presents can be very enjoyable for some people, for me personally it is not my favourite thing. With wrapping it is all about the setting. Often, we will sprawl everything out over the floor and do everything there. This causes our lower back to round and can cause some pain and discomfort. I always suggest using the dining room table, if you have one. This allows you to keep your back relatively well supported and prevent aggravating an existing issue.
For a lot of people Christmas dinner can be very stressful. We are often cooking for more people than usual, and we want to make sure we get the timing right. When I think of Christmas dinner, I think of how heavy a roast can be. A large proportion of people still go for the traditional turkey. A whole turkey is very heavy, and it is not uncommon that I see people who have injured themselves getting the roast out of the oven. This is generally because they have used their back instead of their knees and hips to bend and lift. Just being mindful of this can make all the difference. A lot of people would elect for a squat position, which works fine, I personally prefer one foot in front of the other almost going down on one knee. This puts all the weight through the legs and protects the back.
Most of us watch quite a bit of TV over Christmas. Be it the King’s speech or an Only Fool’s and Horses special. This can lead to problems as we adopt positions that are comfortable for us but not necessarily good for us. Lounging on the sofa can result in us not maintaining our spinal curves and can lead to pain. Most of us will have experienced this to some extent having fallen asleep on the sofa and waking feeling very stiff. Using cushions to support us in the right way can make all the difference, especially if we might nod off after Christmas lunch. This can be supporting our lower back, our side, or our neck.
Taking regular time to take a break from the TV and go for a walk is very helpful too as this helps to get our joints moving and muscles working. Regular walks over Christmas really can make all the difference and help to get the blood pumping.
Walking in the cold
When the weather is not the nicest, we tend to not want to walk, and when we do we tend to be a bit rigid. We want to make sure that when we are walking in the cold or wet that we keep our shoulders down and swing our arms. Often, we will have our heads down, hands in pockets and shoulder up by our ears. This can make us feel a bit warmer temporarily but tighten our muscles and can lead to symptoms. What we need to do is wrap up warm. A nice scarf and gloves with a winter coat does the job and we can stride out swinging our arms with our heads up.
If you have an issue that you wished to be assessed, then book an appointment here.
Yours in health,
Mykel Mason DC LRCC MChiro