Pesach, (or Passover) the festival of spring, freedom and celebration, is almost upon us. However, as we well know, the pleasure we feel when sitting down with family and friends at the Seder table involves a physical commitment with constant movement between cleaning, organizing, planning, shopping, cooking and baking and back to .... cleaning! But, take care; all your enthusiasm and diligence in preparing for the Chag could result in some aches and pains. Neglecting to pay proper attention to your body in the week ahead could bring on some back and neck problems which could take the shine off the Pesach holiday.
To many people, aches and pains seem like an unavoidable discomfort and part and parcel of Pesach preparations. But you have more control than you think. It is very important to take precautions whilst lifting and to avoid awkward twisting and excessive repetitive movements.
Everyday tasks can turn into trouble for people with pre-existing discomfort. By following these simple tips, you should be able to protect your back and neck, minimize the risk of injury and keep your spine healthy.
1. Avoid bending over and twisting as much as possible
Don't lift with your back: use your leg power. You do not need to lift a heavy load to "throw your back"; a simple awkward twist can trigger some sensitivity. It is so important to lift properly. How? Always bend your knees and use your leg power to lift your body up. Instead of reaching forward to move a heavy object, get close to it and lift it straight off the ground by bending at the knees and keeping your spine upright.
Avoid bending and pushing whilst vacuuming. Stand upright and use your legs rather than your back to move forward and backward.
2. Stand tall and straight
Reaching over the sink to wash a stack of dishes puts a strain on your back and the more dishes you wash, the more the discomfort is likely to build up. It’s best to stand tall and tuck in your tummy and buttocks. Or try sitting on a high stool when you wash your Pesach dishes.
You can also try to sit when you are preparing food for Seder night, as changing position is the key. If you prefer to stand, place one foot on a small step to take the pressure off your lower back.
3. Change your position
When standing for long periods of time whilst cleaning and cooking, try to avoid repeated stress on the same aching muscles by remembering to change your position. The occasional stretch and lunge will also give your mind and body a break!
4. Pace, hydrate and stretch
Remember to take periodic rest breaks and do what you can without overdoing it physically and paying the price in pain later on. You don't want to be a dead duck at the Seder.
Remember that PREVENTION of an injury is much easier than repairing one. Listen to your body and stop if you feel you need to take a break.
Self-help remedies for back pain
However, if you do feel that your back is starting to cause trouble, you may be able to relieve it with self-help remedies such as applying heat, taking a muscle relaxant or having a rest. If the aching persists, consult with your doctor or contact us at Back into Shape Clinic. Our trained and caring physiotherapists and osteopaths are here to help!!
If your Pesach preparations have resulted in disc issues or if you suffer from a pre-existing disc problem, our cutting edge, non-invasive IDD therapy treatment could be the solution to this painful problem. The Back into Shape Clinic, Ra'anana is the only IDD treatment center in Israel.
Avoid the pain and aches and enjoy a healthy, pain-free Pesach.
Miriam Lipshitz has recently joined the Back into Shape team as the IDD technician and clinic assistant. She is a South African qualified and experienced teacher by profession with wide ranging experience in research and writing.