Thanksgiving is coming, don’t end up feeling like a turkey!

Family Thanksgiving at table with large dinner spread

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently, but the most common activity for Thanksgiving is cooking and eating. No matter the size of your family and/or friends this can be a time consuming and exhausting event. Some of the youngest, most able bodied individuals can be put to the test while cooking a turkey or peeling potatoes or simply by riding for longer periods of time in a car.

Being in pain can change your mood, your sleeping habits, your conversations and even your appetite. This article is a guide on how to prevent yourself from being worn out and in pain this holiday season! Following are some tips for standing for long periods of time that may help you find relief if you experience lower back pain, leg pain or foot pain when standing still.

    1. Take a break from standing by sitting down at intervals throughout the day-for example plan to sit down while you peel the potatoes or mix the macaroni and cheese and do this between standing times such as basting the turkey or mixing the stuffing.
    2. Use an adjustable height work table so your work is kept at waist level—for example, move the ham to the kitchen table instead of the countertop to carve so that your shoulders are in a more relaxed position while working.
    3. Use anti-fatigue floor mats but not thick rubber mats that are too soft-a more firm surface may benefit your painful feet and not the the soft surfaces we often prefer
    4. Wear supportive shoes or shoe inserts that keep feet in a neutral position-pay attention to your feet…make your shoes are on even in the house while standing and walking.
    5. Change work positions by periodically placing a foot on a footrest while standing-be shifty…change your weight from one foot to the next, use a stool to offset the pressure from standing and rotate from one foot to the next
    6. Use good body posture—abdominal bracing is a crucial action to perform and to become good at while standing, walking, bending and performing all of your activities of daily living. This enables your abdominal muscles to support the lumbar region in maintaining good posture and alleviating stress off of your back.

Also, at home pain relieving agents such as ice and heat may be used to address the pain that standing/sitting may cause as well as those important rest breaks. The employees here at Aquacare Physical Therapy wish you health and happiness in the coming months!

Written by Tessa Doughty PTA/Clinical Director Salisbury – Milford Street.

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