Take care of your back at Christmas

Christmas gifts, purchases of family lunches and dinners ... no take care of your back at Christmas. In the Christmas holidays we carry more weight due to accumulating gifts, toys and food for family meals. Specialists advise not to load more than 5 kilos in each arm to prevent our cervical spine from suffering from excessive weight.

Despite the crisis, during the Christmas holidays we usually buy more than usual amounts with the risk of carrying more weight than we owe for the back. It is important not to let the back carry more than it can support so that, after the holidays, we do not have to face the negative consequences, because without realizing it, we can reach the end of the Christmas holidays with the injured and painful back, due to an inadequate way of carrying bags and boxes and excessive weight.


How to share the weight of Christmas shopping

According to a study conducted by the Professional College of Physiotherapists of Madrid, the recommendation to take care of your back at Christmas is not to exceed five kilos per bag. It is also very important to distribute them equally and balanced between the two arms, so that the total weight does not exceed ten kilos. Even so, they warn that each person is different and that these measures are only indicative, since many other factors come into play to produce a lesion, such as: the muscular state of each person, if any previous pathology has been suffered, age, etc. .

Tips to avoid back injuries when lifting weight

1. Flex the legs, instead of bending the back, to catch products located below our knees.


2. Avoid lifting heavy objects beyond chest height.

3. Avoid making efforts. Ask for help from the establishment's staff, or use "ladders" or platforms to reach objects that you do not have access to.

4. Do not let your guard down when putting objects in the car or when we go to place them in our home.

The size of Christmas shopping bags

Since the removal of plastic bags, as an alternative we are using cloth bags, canvas bags or other materials that are less polluting and that also are not for single use. However, we must be alert, because these bags are usually larger than usual, which causes us to overload them. This weight overload can harm our health, and cause us to suffer possible musculoskeletal injuries.


In addition, José Santos, General Secretary of the Association of Physiotherapists of Madrid, recommends that when our purchase exceeds 10 kilos we use a shopping cart, and that it is pushed with both hands instead of pulling it. This Christmas may be a good time to buy a shopping cart and avoid damaging the back with extra purchases that involve family celebrations.

Frequent injuries when carrying weight

The most frequent back injuries are muscular contractures that usually appear after overexertion, stress and, sometimes, are derived from the injury of the disc, in order to reinforce and protect the injured segment.

The most effective way to combat this situation is through the use of muscle relaxants, massage and heat application. On the other hand, it is much better to prevent than waiting for the disease to appear; To do this, we must develop and maintain a good physical shape, look for the right positions - both standing and sitting - as well as avoiding intense and prolonged efforts over time.

Queca Rodríguez-Colubi

Video: Randy Bachman and Beverley Mahood - Taking Care of Christmas


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