For many, the holiday season begins right after Thanksgiving. The lights are hung, Christmas trees go up, decorations appear around town and the familiar songs start playing on the radio stations. In stores, the shelves are stocked and lines are long with everyone checking off their gift lists. While the holidays are often a time of joy, they can also bring some aches and back pain with them.
Here are some ways you may experience some discomfort this December:
• Cold weather can make you feel achy and tired. It can make your muscles feel stiff and give you back pain.
• Putting up Christmas lights on a ladder can hurt your lower back and it can cause pain, tingling and numbness in your upper back, neck and arms.
• Carrying heavy loads can cause injury if improper lifting techniques are used. i.e. Carrying decorations or wrapping materials upstairs, carrying awkward gifts in a store, reaching for something on a top shelf, etc.
What can I do to feel better?
• Stretch- If you’ve been thinking about adding some stretching to your daily routine, winter is a great time to do it, as stretching prevents injury by keeping you more mobile. It also prevents back pain.
• Light exercise- Add in a short exercise routine such as walking, jumping jacks, arm circles and planks to get your blood pumping and keep you feeling warm.
• Lift with your legs, not your back. Bend deep in your knees and squeeze your abdominals to protect your low back when lifting heavy or awkward objects.
Another great full spine stretch for pain relief can be found at the website of the American Council on Exercise