Santa Claus is coming to town, but will he be slowed down by chronic back pain?
“Santa spends long periods of time hunched over naughty and nice lists, lifting gifts that are simply too heavy and using improper lifting techniques, making him a prime candidate for a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis or other chronic spine conditions,” says Dr. Massoud.
And, like an estimated 70 percent of American adults (according to a study by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department), Santa probably doesn’t exercise regularly, which contributes to his weight issues. Being overweight places more stress on the spine and significantly contributes to symptoms associated with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.
Fortunately, Santa — and his helpers — can do a lot to prevent back problems, Dr. Massoud noted. Simple changes like getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating right, using proper lifting techniques and practicing good posture can help prevent back problems.
“It’s important to exercise regularly to maintain the necessary strength in the muscles that support your spine,” explained Dr. Massoud. “Everyone, including Santa should get the 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Taking a couple short walks each day is a great way to start if you haven’t been exercising. In addition, Santa and others who sit for extended periods should take a two-minute stretch and move break at least once an hour.”
When it comes to delivering presents, Dr. Massoud stresses the importance of squatting down, pulling the weight of the package in close to you or distributing it evenly across the back and lifting using the legs and hips rather than bending over and using the back.
Children can help Santa’s weight loss efforts by leaving him fruits or veggies and a glass of tea or water instead of cookies and hot cocoa.
But if Santa is already experiencing back pain, he should seek help immediately from his orthopedic health care provider to learn more about chiropractic, physical therapy and pain management treatments available for common joint injuries and painful spinal conditions.
Source: www.dailyrecord.com; December 19, 2014.