Preventing holiday back pain

Dec 27, 2012

If you’re feeling a bit of back pain this holiday season, one University of Rhode Island professor says a few changes in habits and a bit of mindfulness can help.
If you’re planning to spend a day at the mall, returning gifts maybe, URI physical therapist John McLinden says make sure you’re wearing the right shoes. The wrong shoes … ones that don’t provide arch support … can wreak havoc from tip to toe.

"The foot is where everything starts, so if you have shoes that don't have proper support that ...eventually translates up into the spine as well."

“The foot is where everything starts, so if you have shoes that don’t have proper support that inherently puts increased stress on the inner part of the knee, the outer part of the hips and eventually translates up into the spine as well.”
McLinden says don’t stand for more than 40 minutes at a time, and distribute the weight of shopping bags by carrying them in both hands.
McLinden says people forget they’re standing for long stretches of time, for example while cooking. He says that can put stress on the back.
And he says be mindful that holiday stress can create back pain
“Anytime the stress and anxiety levels increase then you’re prone to have the overflow into other things like muscular-skeletal complaints. Take a little time for yourself, be able to break away on your own for a little bit, do a little bit of stretching and then back at it with the festivities and the relatives.”
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