Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain at Christmas
As we approach the Christmas season, you might be more worried about piling on the pounds and feeling like a Christmas Pudding on the big day than anything else, but you’d be surprised how many people hurt their back over the festive period.
Chiltern Health Centre Chiropractor Jennifer Garratt explains, “Surprisingly, we often see an increase in patients visiting the clinic with back aches and pains which have appeared during the Christmas period.”
There are many ways you can hurt your back at Christmas. Bending and lifting heavy items like Christmas trees, furniture or even the turkey can easily strain your back or exacerbate existing aches and pains.
If you do hurt your back or neck during the holidays, your first thought might be to put your feet up on the sofa and watch some festive films and wait until the pain disappears. Although this may seem like a tempting option, it is much more beneficial for your back to keep your muscles moving.
Jennifer Garratt explains, “Try to stay as active as possible, sitting around for long periods of time can strain your neck and back, so why not go out for a walk on Christmas day!”
Going for a walk can also be a good break from wrapping presents! Spending hours on the floor slouching over wrapping paper and Christmas cards can hurt your back if you are in that position for too long.
“If you’ve left it to the last minute and have a lot of wrapping to do, make sure you sit or stand at a table to stop you bending over too much. If you’re sat down, make sure you’re supporting your back at all times with a small cushion.”“If you’re lifting heavy or awkward objects like the Christmas tree or furniture, always ask for help and make sure you also bend your knees when lifting heavier items! When you’re putting up decorations, use a step ladder to avoid over stretching or straining your back or neck.”
For further information, please contact Chiltern Health Centre on 020 8661 1613.
We are open normal hours all over Christmas except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day when we will be closed. We will also be closing early at 1pm on Christmas Eve. An answerphone will be available when we are closed and we will get back to you as soon as reception is open again.
Christmas Opening Hours
Monday 23rd Dec 8am – 8pm
Tuesday 24th Dec 8am – 1pm
Christmas Day Closed
Boxing Day Closed
Friday 27th Dec 8am – 8pm
Saturday 28th Dec 8:30am – 1pm
Monday 30th Dec 8am – 8pm
Tuesday 31st Dec 8am – 5pm
New Year’s Day Closed
Thurs 2nd Jan 8am – 8pm
Fri 3rd Jan 8am – 8pm
Sat 4th Jan 8:30am – 1pm
Driving posture, do you sit correctly in you car?
You might love going on road trips and feel quite comfortable sitting in your car seat for hours on end but be aware that you may be setting yourself up for future spinal problems.
With back pain being the number 2 reason why we visit our GPs and costing the NHS £1.3Million per day, it is not surprising to see that over 60% of drivers in this survey agreed with the statement ‘my car seat can make my back ache worse after a long trip’ and maybe more importantly, over 40% of drivers said that the car seat was the main cause of their backache.
According to a recent survey commissioned by AutoExpress magazine, a poor seating position in your car can lead to both back in neck problems while a slouched position can also compromise your safety.
Local Chiropractor Jennifer Garratt explains; “a slouched position can alter the way you wear the seat belt, reducing its effectiveness while an uncomfortable car seat can also lead to driver distraction and loss of concentration.”
Jennifer shares some tips on how should a car seat should be set up to protect your back and neck:
“Make sure that your car seat is not too far away from the pedals. When you fully depress the clutch your legs should remain slightly bent.”
“Make sure that your backrest is not tilted back too far. Your elbows should be slightly bent when you position your hands correctly on the steering wheel in the ‘10 to 2 position’.”
“Make sure that you increase the lumbar support as much as possible to support the natural arch in your back to avoid slouching. If you do not have a lumbar support built-in, you can use a portable, dedicated lumbar support cushion or roll up a towel and put it behind your back.”
“Make sure that the top of your headrest is above the top of your ears. If it is too low it can increase the risk of neck injuries in case of an accident.”
“Now, stretch yourself up and make your spine as tall as possible sitting in an ideal posture. Set the rearview mirror so you can just about see the traffic behind you. This will help to correct your posture every time you look in your rearview mirror, because if you slouch you will not be able to use the rearview mirror.”
“Make sure that your seatbelt is correctly positioned. If possible, adjust the height so it is not sitting on your neck and according to the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the belt should be worn as tight as possible, with no slack and the lap belt should go over the pelvic region, not the stomach.”
Why not call in to the clinic and speak to a chiropractor if you are concerned about your spinal health and get your car seat checked as part of our service.”