Welcome back to SpineIQ’s Blog! The holidays are here with Thanksgiving being this week, which means people will be coming together with friends and family. It is a great day of the year where the majority of the time is spent catching up with loved ones and eating to your hearts content. However, a lot of the time on Thanksgiving is spent sitting, whether that’s watching Thanksgiving football, talking, or eating another plate of pie. Spending a long time in one position can start to get uncomfortable. Nobody wants to spend their Thanksgiving having back pain, but you nor your patients want to spend it having to do too much to prevent it either! This SpineIQ blog will discuss some tips and tricks to prevent or quickly treat an episode of back pain during Thanksgiving, or any time you or your patients find yourselves spending prolonged times in one position!
While we are unaware of any study that has specifically looked at Thanksgiving Day back pain prevention and treatment, there are a few studies that have looked at the effect of brief interventions on back pain! We will use the study by Escriche-Escuder et al.1 as a template for this blog but you or your patients can feel free to add or subtract any movement/exercise that you prefer to do that gets you back to the pie table as quickly as possible!
- Tip #1: Set a reminder on your phone to get up and move around every hour or so to avoid prolonged time in one position
- Tip #2: Sit in different seats around the house that you are in. Back pain or discomfort may happen when you are in one position for too long so sitting in different seats will make you change positions based on the seat
- Tip #3: Walk! There’s no rule that says Thanksgiving talks with your family must be while sitting. Don’t be afraid to go on a walk around your neighborhood while catching up with your friends and family. Walking is not only great for back pain but also digestion and you might be able to enjoyably walk off that pie you ate!2,3
- Tip #4: Movement snacks! If you are someone that needs a more regimented program of exactly what to do, we provide one below based on a trial of brief movement intervention to reduce back pain. Remember that the effect comes from moving and not any specific exercise so if there is an exercise that you prefer to do or not do then that is okay! Moving is the key!4
The exercises in this study were done using a resistance band but you can use a towel, dog leash, or any rope like item that you have around the house! You can also do these exercises without any rope/band and just doing the movements! Remember, the goal is to get back to enjoying Thanksgiving with your loved ones as fast as possible!
Below we provide pictures of a few exercises from the study. During the study, the participants did each exercise between 8-20 repetitions. You can let the amount of time that you have in between plates dictate how many repetitions to do. Some repetitions are better than none so feel free to do as little or as many that you feel is right for you.
Exercises from Escriche-Escuder et al.1:
Happy Thanksgiving from the team at SpineIQ! We hope that it is a back pain free day spent enjoying time with your loved ones! At Spine IQ we know Back Pain never takes a holiday, but regardless of the day, we want to continue to provide you with practical tips and facts you can use to make every day a pain-free day for those you care for.
- Escriche-Escuder A, Calatayud J, Andersen LL, Ezzatvar Y, Aiguadé R, Casaña J. Effect of a brief progressive resistance training program in hospital porters on pain, work ability, and physical function. Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2020;48:102162. doi:10.1016/j.msksp.2020.102162
- Cruthirds CL, Deutz NEP, Ligthart-Melis GC, Simbo SY, Engelen MPKJ. Walking exercise alters protein digestion, amino acid absorption, and whole body protein kinetics in older adults with and without COPD. J Appl Physiol Bethesda Md 1985. 2021;130(2):435-444. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00783.2020
- Vanti C, Andreatta S, Borghi S, Guccione AA, Pillastrini P, Bertozzi L. The effectiveness of walking versus exercise on pain and function in chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Disabil Rehabil. 2019;41(6):622-632. doi:10.1080/09638288.2017.1410730
- Hayden JA, Ellis J, Ogilvie R, Malmivaara A, Tulder MW van. Exercise therapy for chronic low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021;(9). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009790.pub2