Protect Yourself from the Holidays

The Holidays can be a crazy time of year for all of us. Between family time, travel, decorating, and shopping it can be hard to find time for yourself. In this post we will discuss a couple of quick tips to keep your back and neck healthy this holiday season.

For the Neck

-The dreaded airplane nap-

We’ve all been there. We’re flying on an airplane and just needing a few extra zzz’s so we throw on our trusty neck pillow and manage to doze off. Somehow during our sleep our neck manages to find the ONE unsupported edge of the neck pillow and we wake up with neck stiffness and pain. Sometimes it only lasts a few hours and isn’t too bad, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem to go away and you end up looking like this guy when you’re trying to talk to your family at dinner.

Lucky for you the solution is simple and all you need is a towel or cloth of some sort. If you’re really in a jam and don’t have access to either of those things you can try a pair of jeans or piece of clothing you are not worried about stretching out. The technique is called a SNAG. See below!

For the Back

-Unpacking the holiday closet or attic-

Another thing we always like to do is pack as many things into each box as we can possibly fit. This results in one or two boxes always being heavier than we remember them being last year when we put them away, and of course heavy boxes are always the ones on the floor. Staying true to our stubborn selves and the haste of the holidays we inevitably lift this box ourselves while a loved one chants “lift with your legs!”. While we may be able to accomplish this without a problem, sometimes we pay for it later as that gradual ache in the back sets in.

We all know that we’re supposed to lift with our legs but how do we accomplish that? To lift with your legs requires two movements put together. A hip hinge, and a squat. See the following videos to piece this together.

Hip Hinge/Dead Lift

  •  If you’re having trouble with the stick coming off of your hips or mid back see our youtube channel videos “set your shoulders” and “pelvic tilt.”

The Squat

 Now that you’ve put the movements together you have the building blocks to actually put that “lift with your legs” strategy to good use! If you’re practicing these movements and you still have pain or can’t seem to improve, contact us at The Doctors of Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ. We help people like you everyday to live highly functional lives and move well.

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