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Broadgate spine & joint clinic news

by Richard Hollis

Christmas back pain

There are so many wonderful things to enjoy at Christmas – festive spirit, visiting family, seeing children opening their presents, to name just a few. The festive season can also be a time when some of the old aches and pains tend to come out!

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, Sofa Sitters Spine. Some of these names may be made up, but we do notice an increase in patients coming in with aches and pains directly related to the Christmas holidays.

Tree Trouble

Bending and lifting awkwardly is well known to cause back pain. Lugging the Christmas tree back from the shop, getting it in the house then trying to get it put up and straight has its own hazards, as does bending, stretching and twisting to put on the fairy lights and tree decorations.


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.  So be careful when lifting over the Christmas period to keep objects close to you, bend from the knees and try and avoid twisting at the same time.

Sofa Sitters Spine

We tend to spend more time with relatives sitting down at Christmas. Ensure you prop yourself up, using a pillow in the small of your back if necessary, and sit as straight as you can. Don’t sit down for too long – stand up, even if only to walk around the house and do some simple stretches.

Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain this Christmas

  1. Take regular breaks when doing housework or cooking
  2. Use a table rather than standing up for some food preparation like peeling spuds
  3. Get help lifting awkward items
  4. Bend over by going down on one knee when pick up light objects
  5. Bend your knees and stick your bottom out when lifting heavy objects
  6. Use a step ladder rather than stretching when putting up decorations
  7. Get out for regular walks over the holidays
  8. If you don’t do squats or go for a walk vary the seat you seat in, possibly putting a cushion in the small of your back
  9. Take it easy on the alcohol and sugar

Follow the tips and have a Happy Christmas from us all at Broadgate!

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