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5 tips to reduce back pain

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The busy festive season can strain your back. Dr Sejal Mistry has some suggestions

Festivals often bring about a change in our daily routine. Our diet, sleeping pattern and schedule in general changes.  It is also probably one of the busiest times of the year with all the holiday shopping, cooking, get-togethers and travelling to see friends. Whether you are a chronic back pain patient or a someone without any back-pain symptoms, it is important to exercise caution to prevent an aching back during this busy period. Attention to some simple tasks can make all the difference.

1 Stay active

The festive season comes with a lot of social commitments which disrupts your daily fitness routine. Visiting relatives, travelling distances involves sitting for long hours which puts more pressure on our spine. Ensure you stay active by sitting less and moving more.  Carry back support while travelling if you are experiencing back pain.

2 Call, don’t text

If you have a huge family and friends WhatsApp group you are most likely going to be flooded with festive wishes in your inbox. Try to limit text usage to avoid pain in the neck (text neck). Pick up the phone and talk to a loved one instead. Walking and talking is yet another way to stay active and your loved ones will surely appreciate the effort!

3 Bend carefully and avoid carrying heavy shopping bags

Festive chores like cleaning the house, making rangoli, shopping and packing gifts can involve frequent bending or carrying heavy loads. Bending from your back increases pressure on your spine. Practice bending from your knees and not your back. Simple changes such as lighting diyas in the window panes instead of on the floor could help minimise bending.

4 Avoid tight clothes and heavy jewellery

Tight clothes can limit blood circulation to your spine. Heavy jewellery can put excess load on your neck. Opt for a minimalist look and wear comfortable clothes to avoid unnecessary aches and pains.

5 Avoid heels

Pencil heels can put excess load on your spine. Heels are not recommended for people with spine problems. Avoid heels altogether or opt for wedges or platform heels as they provide more support to the spine compared to pencil heels.

Dr Sejal Mistry is National Clinical Expert, QI Spine Clinic

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