This is a busy time of year for Father Christmas. He will be rushing around checking his list of good boys and girls, planning his present deliveries and making sure his reindeer are ready for the big night. It’s a good job he has been preparing all year.

Father Christmas is not getting any younger. So with all his lifting of heavy bags of toys and getting stuck in old chimneys he has to take care of his back. We all get caught up in the ever increasing run up to the festive season, and it’s worth looking after ourselves and following good chiropractic advice:

This applies to us, more than to Father Christmas. Shopping really aggravates back problems. Wandering around the Arndale Centre, carrying all those Christmas goodies can cause joint aches and muscle stiffness. The best thing is to pace yourself, take a break when you need to.

Walks can help gently mobilise the back. Bed rest is a thing of the past. It’s usually best to keep active. Father Christmas will have to be careful on those roof tops.

Good posture helps avoid injury in the first place. Avoid lifting and twisting at the same time (especially if you’re carrying heavy toys). It’s best to bend your knees and brace yourself by holding your tummy tight. Working in cramped spaces (chimneys) or having bad posture can cause very mild but constant wear and tear.

Drink plenty of water. Dehydration affects the whole body, even the discs in your back! The recommended minimum is at least 4 pints of water per day.

Ice helps to ease any immediate sprains and strains. An ice pack (or rooftop snow) should be lightly wrapped so it doesn’t freeze the skin (a tea towel will do). It should then be placed against the injury and must not be left on for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Pain can be a warning sign. If you hurt yourself (from sudden sleigh stops for instance) it’s always best to seek expert advice and treatment as soon as possible. Pain is an important warning, don’t ignore it!

As a treat for Father Christmas (or one of his helpers), leave your Wellbeing Magazine out this year. He can read these tips whilst he enjoys his mince pies and sherry.

Santa’s Advice courtesy of Lushington Chiropractic 01323 722499