When it comes to holiday health objectives, focus on your spine
Spinal health is the gift that keeps on giving. Ask anyone with chronic back pain- if they could get back to a vantage point of having no pain, they would trade all the christmas gifts in the world for it. But Christmas offers a unique set of challenges to our spines: from increased food and alcohol intake, to decreased activity levels, it is not a time that is generally kind to the spine.
Holiday health objective: prevent back pain
As we sit around the Christmas tree watching our kids play carefree, the muscles in our spine are likely tightening due to inaction. Our poor, unsupported couch posture is allowing our vertebral joints to move out of alignment and pressurize nearby spinal nerves. This is a recipe for back pain more potent than any of your aunt’s famous alcohol-laced eggnog.
Preventing back pain through simple actions, including:
- Avoid drinking too much: alcohol = inflammation, as well as extra calories that increase weight and the burden on your spine.
- Avoid eating too much: see above; weight gain= more unnecessary pressure on the spine.
- Stretch the muscles of the lower back: if you feel tight, stand up and do a few gentle stretches. Your back muscles will take every little movement they can get in this generally-sluggish period of time.
- Condition your core: simply tuck your belly button in toward your spine and hold; do this is as often as you can be bothered- it is one of the best sneaky movements for improving core stability.
- Use back support: if you are going to be sitting around a lot, it behooves you to use props that support good posture.
- Always remain aware of posture: as much as you can avoid slumping and slouching; this will be especially difficult in the food-coma aftermath of Christmas dinner.
When January rolls around, perform a post-holiday spinal health check
Give our office in Alameda a call to schedule an appointment. We ensure that the holidays don’t take too hard a toll on your spine by providing you with chiropractic adjustment that restores spinal alignment. If your muscles are out of whack, we use deep tissue massage to relieve tension and improve elasticity of the muscle fibers. This allows you to hit the ground running in the New Year, with a renewed focus on spinal health. Happy holidays, and always remember what matters most: family, friends and your health!