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4 Tips to Avoid Back Pain On Thanksgiving

Authored by Dr. Ehsan Jazini, MD, FACS. November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving is looking a little different in 2020, but our usual traditions still stand; we’ll be cooking, watching football, online shopping, and most definitely eating. Be sure to arm yourself with these 4 tips to avoid back pain this Thanksgiving. 

  1. Cooking – Take Breaks

    When you’re busy running around the kitchen and standing for extended periods of time making your favorite Thanksgiving dishes, be sure to keep your back straight. Slouching or shifting your weight from side to side can cause unnecessary pressure on your spine and cause lower back pain quickly. Keep your posture upright and stretch or take a break when you feel tense or tight. A great way to alleviate some pressure from your neck and back while cooking is to do some early prep while sitting down, like chopping vegetables or  measuring out ingredients ahead of time.

  2. Watching Football – Don’t Slouch

    While it may be tempting to sit on the couch for hours at a time, it can wreak havoc on your back and neck. Keep track of the amount of time spent on the couch, and make sure to get up and walk around during commercial breaks or time outs. By doing this you can get your blood flowing and stretch comfortably. No one wants to get injured on the couch!

  3. Online Shopping – Avoid Tech Neck

    With in-person shopping limited this year due to the coronavirus, most of us are heading straight for the computer for our holiday gift giving needs. To avoid tech neck, find a way to stack your laptop to be eye level, or use a monitor that is large enough that you don’t have to squint or lean in. Shopping from a table with a comfortable desk chair will help keep your back straight and shoulders back. And remember, don’t sit at the computer for too long — even online shopping requires breaks!

  4. Sitting at the Dinner Table – Keep an Eye on Your Posture

    The most important (and fun) part of Thanksgiving is, of course, the food. And it’s the one we all enjoy the most! Make sure to have a comfortable chair with padding, or use a pillow or proper lumbar support to help keep the natural curve of your spine. Make sure your back is straight and your shoulders are back. A fun tip I like to use is the 5-minute check up. If you start sitting up straight and gradually slide down or hunch over, recalibrate after 5 minutes and sit up. To make a game out of it, set a timer or ask another relative to keep an eye on your posture; get the whole family involved! Whoever slouches first loses — it’ll teach your children the proper way to protect their back, while learning how to avoid back pain in the future. 

These four quick tips will keep you energized and help with avoiding back pain while taking on the 2020 holiday season from home. If you find yourself with back pain after this Thanksgiving, schedule a consultation with one of our spine specialists at Virginia Spine Institute. We want to make sure you’re living a pain-free life this holiday season!

About The Author

Dr. Ehsan Jazini, MD, FACS

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