One of the most challenging tasks you can undertake when you’re in pain is preparing a meal, yet the festive season is full of reasons to spend time in the kitchen. From striving to perfect that Christmas dinner to rustling up good old turkey and chips on Boxing Day, cooking sits at the heart of Christmas for many families. But should your back have to pay the price? Not with these top tips from our Ealing chiropractor:
Make Dishes Ahead of Time
Instead of tackling everything at once, sit down and look at your meal plans. If possible, break the cooking down into things that can be made ahead of time and things that can be staged before the day. Cranberries, for example, can be made in advance because they keep well in the fridge. If you chop your cooking duties into bite-sized tasks, then you don’t have to put your back through torture by standing in the kitchen for hours on end!
One of the reasons cooking causes back pain is that it often means standing for prolonged periods in the same position. Try walking around in between tasks and alternate standing with sitting. If you are preparing vegetables, try moving the chopping board to the table and chop while sitting. Just remember to watch your posture and regularly get up to walk around. The spine is designed to move, so it’s going to seize up and hurt if you keep it locked in one position for too long!
Lean On Your Work Counter Top
If you find your lower back aching while you’re cooking the Christmas roast, try leaning on your worktop with both hands. This position will help bear some of your weight and remove pressure off the joints in your spine. Doing this frequently for just 10 –15 seconds at a time can significantly help to reduce your back pain.
Find Comfortable Positions
It’s a good idea to get to know your body and recognise what positions worsen or improve your pain intensity. For example, you may find that putting your foot up on a stool while cooking eases your back ache. Play around with different body positions while you cook by using furniture, step stools, books or pillows. Frequently changing body positions while you cook can massively improve the way you feel.
Remember that it’s your Christmas as well as everyone elses; and no meal in the world is worth putting your back out for.