It is Christmas time, and for many people it just wouldn't be Christmas without a real Christmas tree inside the home, decorated with ornaments, lights, tinsel, or all of the above! Unfortunately, the enticing scent of pine and the sight of those bright lights and sparkling tinsel can come at a price, especially for people who suffer from back pain.
Putting up and taking down a Christmas tree can lead to an increase in back problems when it is not done correctly, so follow these simple tips to make sure to avoid causing any back pain:
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- When it is time to bring your tree home, make sure you have at least one friend or family member go with you who can help you with the tree. Even small trees can weigh a lot, and trees of all sizes can be awkward to handle, especially when lifitng them up. So make sure to have your friend or friends help you with putting the tree on your car and tying it down. If you all work together, the weight of the tree will be evenly distributed so you will not overwork and strain your back muscles. Remember, as always, to lift with your knees and not your back. Your friend(s) should also help you get the tree down from the top of your car and carry it into your house.
- Getting your tree set up is another activity that can strain your muscles and lead to back pain, and having someone to help you during this process is important to avoid that pain. For instance, they can help you to do any necessary trimming or cutting of the tree, and then once it is ready they can help hold the tree while you place it in its stand. Also, when putting the tree into the stand make sure to kneel down to do it instead of leaning over, which can lead you to strain your back.
- Decorating the tree is not quite as strenuous on your back because there is no heavy lifting involved, but it can still cause some problems so it is important to use caution. For instance, people tend to do a lot of overreaching and leaning awkwardly when decorating a tree, which can lead to back strains. Try to keep the decorations somewhere that they can be easily reached and on a higher surface so that you do not have to constantly bend down and straighten up again. When putting the tinsel and lights on, don't reach too far. Walk around the tree instead. And be sure to use a stepstool to put up any decorations that are hard to reach, such as whatever is on the top of your tree.
- Once the holidays are over and it is time to take the tree down, you need to be just as careful as you were putting it up. Use caution when taking the decorations off of the tree like you did when putting them off. And then have someone help you take the tree out of the stand and carry it to be disposed of.
By being careful and using common sense, you'll be able to get through the process of putting up and taking down your Christmas tree without suffering any kind of back injury, and you can enjoy the holidays pain free!
At The Illinois Back Institute we are dedicated to educating people, because we know that the more that you understand about your problem, the more likely you are to eliminate it. We specialize in Functional Disc Rehydration - a multi-disciplinary approach to making the back healthier without surgery, injectionsormedications. This works toward relieving the pressure off the disc by allowing the nutrients to flow back into it. In the meantime, the supporting muscles are strengthened and reactivated to help re-stabilize the spine.
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