Christmas is less than 1 month away and there aren’t too many other causes of stress that can beat Christmas time. One of the major effects of unmanaged stress is back pain. So I decided to tell you a story to help you protect against back pain.
Last year, a physically fit client ended up needing emergency treatment after she was immobilized with stress induced back pain.
She had gone shopping just before Christmas: she was in a rush and considerably stressed about all that the festive season was going to bring. When she arrived at the supermarket the car park was nearly full and she only managed to find a space between 2 rather large vehicles, leaving her with a very small space through which to get out. She twisted to get her handbag from the rear seat whilst opening the door at the same time; put 1 leg out, twisted her body yet again, this time in the opposite direction to squeeze out and that’s when she felt her back go, leading to spasm and pain. Of course, she gritted her teeth and carried on (as we do…). 3 days later she couldn’t move and rang me for an emergency treatment.
So why did her back cease up?
- She was rushing
- The tight space forced her to contort/twist her body when stepping out, leaving her body unbalanced and vulnerable
- Stress had caused her body to tighten up, reducing flexibility
Here are 3 tips on how to avoid back pain at stressful times:
- Remain MINDFUL – pause for a few seconds before undertaking the move
- Engage your ABDOMINAL MUSCLES – this affords some protection to your back
- Make sure you are HYDRATED – without enough water, muscles get stiff and tight and this reduction in flexibility makes them, and therefore you, vulnerable to injury
Finally, if you are someone who simply dumps the car and rushes into the shop, leaving little room either side for other car users, you might like to pause and reconsider the inconvenience to others – you never know, you could be the next one with back pain…