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5 Ways to Avoid Thanksgiving Back Pain

By Krista Elliott

OK, I know it's only early November. But Thanksgiving is approaching quickly and you're probably already making holiday preparations (or at least thinking about making them before doing everything at the last second again). 

In all of the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle, one thing you probably haven't thought about is how to protect your back during the holiday. And yet, Thanksgiving can create some real risks to your spine and joints. So, if you're going to be laying down on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner, you want it to be because someone else finally volunteered to do the dishes for once, not because your back is in pain and you can't stand up any longer. Here's how to protect your back and joints during the holidays.

That's a Big Bird

When you're having a large gathering, you need a large amount of food. And of course, the main feature of the Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. Taking it out of the oven, though, can be tricky. Normally when lifting heavy things, we bend and lift at the knees. However, the typical oven door setup makes proper ergonomic lifting nigh well impossible, and when you're talking about a 25-30 lb bird? It's the perfect recipe ... for subluxations. Why not get someone to help you, with each of you standing on one side of the oven door? It's still not perfect lifting form, but dividing the weight by two will be a lot easier on your joints.

Stand and Deliver

Prepping the meal can involve a lot of peeling and chopping of vegetables. And all of that standing can strain and fatigue your leg and back muscles, and create compression of your spinal discs. Why not take a load off, and do some of your potato-peeling while sitting on a high stool at the counter, or on a chair at the kitchen table? And don't forget that many of your vegetables can likely be prepped the day before, saving you from overdoing it all in one day.

You Want to Eat? You Help

All too often, Thanksgiving dinner winds up being prepared mostly by one person. Instead of doing everything ourselves, why not delegate some tasks? Little kids can help set the table, while older kids can be put to work peeling vegetables. And the layabouts on the couch watching the game? Put them on fetch-and-carry duty. By spreading the work around, you're saving your muscles and joints from strain, fatigue, and misalignments. 

So Shoe Me

We all like to look nice for Thanksgiving dinner, but during meal prep is not the time to wear your nice shoes. Choosing a pair of supportive and cushiony sneakers or comfort shoes while you're getting everything ready can help keep your knees, hips and pelvis aligned. As well, grippy soles will reduce the odds of back-damaging slips and falls. Just keep your nice shoes nearby to slip on when the doorbell rings. 

Treat Yourself

In all the pre-Thanksgiving chaos, don't forget to take some time for yourself. Regular chiropractic adjustments from the experts at The Joint Chiropractic are a great way to escape all of your obligations for a little bit while helping to ensure that your spine and joints are in the best shape possible, thus improving your odds of making it through Thanksgiving pain-free.

Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work, but with some sensible prevention tips, you'll be able to give thanks not just for your friend and family, but for a healthy and happy back. 

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