Are you a victim of holiday back pain?
Thanksgiving was really discouraging for Steve. After 4 hours of standing and prepping food (including slicing brussels sprouts), he couldn’t take it anymore – his back was just killing him. He had to leave the kitchen to rest in the living room, and missed out on conversation and belly laughs with the rest of his family. If you don’t take that time to sit down and relax you might end up hurting yourself even more to make the holidays as special as they can be. If that’s the case with you, or you’re thinking about powering through read Understanding Injury.
If you’ve ever cooked dinner for the holidays, you know there’s usually a whole lot of chopping involved. Whether it’s brussels sprouts, onions, celery, or all of the above, it adds up to several hours spent standing in one spot at the cutting board and could give you a case of holiday back pain.
This position can become almost unbearable if your back starts to act up. And it’s not just that this forces you to sit down or walk around for a bit, interrupting your meal prep, it interrupts your ability to spend quality time in the kitchen with your loved ones.
Here are some tips to get you through holiday back pain without a hitch:
- Plan movement breaks
I know you can get on a roll with your chopping, but it helps to set a timer with planned walk breaks. Every 30-40 minutes, set your timer for a 5 minute stroll around the house (or outside, if you can!) This will help warm up your muscles and get your joints moving.
- Change your position while continuing your work
If you’re standing in front of a cupboard, open up that cupboard door and rest one foot just inside it so you’re standing a bit offset. This changes the position of your hips and low back just enough to move pressure around to different areas. Alternate which foot is up, and which is down every so often. If you start to feel pain in your knee it might be related or it might be a completely different issue. Read “Understanding Injury” to give you an idea of maybe how it started to get you thinking about the last time you were in a situation were you were putting too much tension of stress on a specific part of your body.
- Share duties
No shame in asking for help! Take turns doing dishes, chopping, and putting items in the oven so that everyone is doing a few different things versus repeatedly doing the same motion. Varying up your tasks can not only change the stresses on your muscles and joints, but it keeps things fun and interesting!
Think it might be more serious? Read “Why Back Surgery Should Be Avoided” before you psych yourself out.
If you’re still struggling with brussels sprouts & back pain, give us a call today or go to our “Contact Us” page and fill out a form to get in touch. We’ll get you back on the right track so you can continue to spend time with your loved ones this holiday season.