Never mind the feeling of being more stuffed than the Christmas turkey, there are other hidden dangers lurking around the Christmas tree. Turkey Lifters Back, Shoppers Shoulder, TV Remote Thumb may not be well known but they stalk the unwary festival reveler just the same.
Tree Mayhem for Backs
Bending and lifting awkwardly is well known to cause back pain. Lugging the Christmas in and trying to get it straight has its own hazard but also bending, stretching and twisting to put on the fairy lights and baubles start the strain. Add in traipsing around the shops, buying gifts, and bending over on the floor wrapping them up to pile on the pressure on your back joints and muscles.
Turkey Lifters Back
Who would have thought that a turkey could be so menacing. The benign bird becomes 25lbs of sizzling danger when bending over to get it out of a hot oven. The other option of several manageable pre-sliced fillets somehow doesn’t conjure up the same feelings of festive cheer, though.
No-one wants to be a killjoy, but alcohol is a factor in many of the injuries we see. On the plus side there is a muscle relaxation effect of moderate alcohol intake but after 2 or 3 drinks this doesn’t work anymore.
Adrenal Stress and Back Pain
Loads of sugar can affect your back too, amazingly. Sugar stimulates your adrenal glands amongst other things and this combined with alcohol, caffeine and stress can over-work your adrenal glands, leading to adrenal fatigue. Not only can this leave you feeling very tired, but your adrenal glands produce anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. Without this chemical, any injury is likely to be more painful.
You made it into the afternoon on Christmas Day uninjured. You may have been working in the kitchen on your feet for hours and your back or shoulders may be tightening up, but now it is time to relax. You slump down into the sofa and watch a bit of TV. It seems like you stay there until the end of Boxing Day and by the time it is all over you feel like your back is shouting.
Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain this Christmas
- Take regular breaks when doing housework or cooking
- Use a table rather than standing up for some food preparation, like peeling spuds
- Get help lifting awkward items
- Bend over by going down on one knee when pick up light things
- Bend your knees and stick your bottom out when lifting heavy objects
- Use a step ladder rather than stretching when putting up decorations
- Get out for a regular walk over the holidays
- If you don’t go for a walk, do some squats
- If you don’t do squats or go for a walk, vary the seat you sit in, possibly putting a cushion in the small of your back
- Take it easy on the alcohol and sugar
Source: sundialclinics.co.uk; December 10, 2012.