Avoid those aches and pains this Christmas with advice from our Wantage Chiropractor.

As Christmas fast approaches we all become increasingly aware of the cold breeze that prompts us to dig out the winter coat and wrap up warm. It should however also prompt us to minimise the chance of injury to our bodies and limit the occurrence of dis-ease as we start to feel the chill through the upcoming months. Whilst wrapping up warm is of course one way of doing this there are other things we can all do to ensure our Christmas is pain free and our winter enjoyable.

There are many theories behind the effects of climate on the body. One agreeable conclusion however is that the weather does affect us all, just to different extents. So what can we do to help ourselves through this upcoming winter?

Make Christmas simple
To avoid stress, headaches and the dreaded return of neck or back pain the simplest thing to do is ensure that your expectations of Christmas are realistic. A perfect Christmas, as often depicted in the movies and adverts, is a rare occurrence and especially so from my memories as a child. Most of our Christmases were far from the one Nigella Lawson appears to have for the whole of December, but more like a festive bull raging through a not so accommodating china shop! So this year, why not opt for a relaxed festive break sharing tasks between the family and being content with the company of your loved ones.

Practical Presents and a Christmas Past
One major cause of back pain in these recent times is our ever increasing sedentary lifestyles, right from office work to relaxing in the arm chair at home. Christmas is a great opportunity to step away from these habits and enjoy the English countryside. Encourage the whole family to take Christmas walks, you never know they might even enjoy themselves! Furthermore, why not opt for active gifts like skipping ropes, space hoppers, hula hoops and frisbees…it might just bring back some childhood memories in the process.

Don’t shop ‘til you drop
In order to avoid any undue strain on your spine you should:
• Warm up gently before heading out shopping.
• Distribute your shopping bags evenly between both hands and avoid carrying things on your shoulders.
• Take regular breaks and have a warm drink to keep you toasty and hydrated.
• Try to use online shopping or home delivery services where possible, you may even save money in the process.
• Wear sensible, flat, supportive shoes with adequate grip to avoid slipping on icy surfaces.
• Split your shopping into several small trips, avoiding one large over-loaded and stress filled day out.

Moderation is key
Christmas is a fantastic excuse for us all to stock up on the turkey and over-indulge on mulled wine. Enjoy it, but be sensible and spare some consideration for the health of your body. Balance your alcohol intake with water to keep your body hydrated and avoid those aches and pains which can arise from dehydration during the cold Christmas period.

Festive Games
Christmas is a great time to enjoy playing games with family and friends, be them board games or computer games. It is also however tempting to sit and play on newly received computer games without taking breaks or in some cases even looking up from the monitor! Enjoy the games, enjoy the holiday, but also enjoy the time with your family by taking breaks from the games and if you’re not too protective then why not get them involved too. Just make sure your Granny warms up before taking the family on at Wii ‘Just Dance’!

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year; make it special and stay warm.

Dan Ruby

Espina Chiropractic Clinic