Christmas is almost here! Whether you’re looking forward to the all the Christmas feasts to come, the break off work or spending time with family, this season is a time for a little R&R (except when we stress about finding those perfect gifts). As much as we want to rest our minds, our spines are always hard at work, so it’s important we take time to ensure our spines get the attention they deserve.
It would be a Christmas miracle for back pain to be totally eradicated, but the reality is that 1 in 6 Australian’s suffer with back pain every day. Back pain can cause a poor quality of life and leave many people unable to engage in an active and social lifestyle.
This Christmas, SANTA (Straighten up, Active, Neck up, Take breaks, Action) is giving us the tips and tools to prevent and reduce the effects of back pain this Christmas season. Every time you see a Santa at the shops or hanging off a tree, remember these five important spinal health tips:
Straighten up: Good posture is key to a healthy spine. Giving our posture a second thought can have a positive impact on our susceptibility to back pain and weakness of the muscles.
Active: Although it’s tempting to stay on the couch and remain in a constant food coma during the holidays, this is the time we should be most active. Take advantage of the great weather and head for a brisk walk with the dog or run around with family and friends in the park. Exercise is great for our spinal health and helps improve posture.
Neck up: With more and more time being spent looking down at our phones, this can put enormous strain on our necks and spines. Christmas is a time to be social and catch up with friends and family, so when at a festive event, why not have a ‘no phone’ policy, giving you a much-needed break from technology? When using your phone bring it to eye level, to avoid excessive slouching and poor posture.
Take breaks: Christmas can be a very busy time, hanging decorations, wrapping presents and cooking up Christmas feasts, which can all put strain on our bodies, especially our spine. We don’t need to do all these tasks at once, or by ourselves. So be sure to ask for help and take frequent breaks.