This week most people will be getting together with their friends and family to celebrate the birth of our nation. Independence Day parties may include many things such as music, fireworks, good drinks, games, and more, but one thing they always have is good food! On the 4th of July it is tradition for many people to cook out on the grill, but this can be a big problem if you're suffering with back, neck or sciatica pain. So follow these tips to help avoid back pain when grilling during the holiday:
Be Prepared Before You Grill!
- Make a plan so you know when and in what order you will be grilling your food. Not only is a necessary so that don't over or undercook your food, but you also won't be wasting time standing at the grill when you don't need to and causing yourself back pain.
- Also make sure all of the food is ready to go before you begin. A lot of the food preparations for grilling can be done while sitting at a table, so you don't need to put any unneeded stress on your back.
- It's a good idea to prepare your grilling area so that you have everything you need. Make sure you have enough space for all the food, seasonings, vegetables, utensils, and whatever else you might need so that you won't have to be running around while grilling, as that can worsen your back pain. And of course, make sure you have plenty of space for yourself to move around in while you grill.
- Stretch! It may sound silly, but if you're going to be standing for a long period while grilling it makes sense to stretch your back and leg muscles beforehand so your body stays loose. Tight muscles can lead to back pain.
Let's Start Grilling!
- Stay hydrated!!! Summertime temperatures are already quite warm, and being in front of hot grill makes it worse. So make sure you are drinking plenty of water. You may like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage while you grill, but because alcohol dehydrates the body you should be drinking some water as well.
- Remember to stand as straight as possible. One of the biggest mistakes people make when grilling is that they continually bend over awkwardly to tend to their food, and doing this repeatedly can cause major issues with your back. A good way to fix this is place a small stepstool in front of you and keep one of your feet on it. This will keep your back straight. And if you need to bend over, remember to bend at the hip instead of with your back.
- Take breaks as needed. If you don't need to be directly watching what you're cooking at the moment, it's a good idea to get away from the grill for a bit. Have a comfortable chair nearby so you can get off your feet for a few minutes and relax, while also cooling down as well.
- Get an assistant! Having someone around can be a huge help. They can hand you what you need instead of you having to reach for it, remove things that are in your way, or even take over for a few minutes so you can have a break. All of this can go a long way to preventing back problems.
By following these tips you should be able to cook for your friends and family and also enjoy the holiday without back pain and sciatica!
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
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