There are two MAIN reasons why people like you and like me get injured over Christmas. It is very important we all understand why we can get injured at this time of the year, and equally how to avoid it!
Why do you think we can get injured over Christmas?
I think it’s because we change our routine overnight…we go from being very busy at work to-yes being very busy at home– to not being at work at all. Meaning, we don’t have to wake up in time, have breakfast which will keep us going until lunch time, get in the car or walk to the bus station, get out of the car and walk to the office, talk and interact with people which turns on different pathways in the brain, get up make a brew and so on!!!
And then we won’t have to drive or walk back home, get changed, have tea, play with the kids, put the kids down, then go downstairs and so on!!!
MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: What do you think is the most important thing in that routine I just described???
TIP: It’s something that will not happen over Christmas…
THE ANSWER: Movement!!!!
Over Christmas, we will not move as much as we do day to day, it’s a FACT…So what do we do about it?
Let’s first address the 2 main problems that will cause all of us at least one injury, either during Christmas or straight after it:
- We sit down much more than usual
- We don’t stretch at all
It’s true but it happens folks, I have seen it over and over again during the festive time and straight after it the majority of my patients in the OLYMPOS Clinic have always had fresh injuries that come from these two reasons above!
So what happens when we sit down much more than usual and when we don’t stretch at all?
Yes we get injured but why, what is it that happens inside our system and our body that WILL cause an injury…
When we sit down more than usual, the joints we have in our pelvis (trunk) lock up- at least one out of the two we have does lock up. The more times we sit down the more times this joint WILL lock up. Locked joint means only one thing- No movement.
So what happens when one of the two joints in our pelvis refuse to move?
The other one will have to move more to compensate!
And what happens if that joint moves more than it should so as to compensate?
ANSWER: INJURY !!!!!!!
This injury might not be shown straight away for example you might not feel any problems straight after you stand up from sitting down. It might take a few days for that overworked joint to start getting tired and start giving you problems.
For example, after Christmas you decide to go back to walking, running or back to the gym. But you already have one locked joint and one overworked joint inside your pelvis (trunk- basically under your buttocks!!!). You would never have known this because it never gave you any problems apart from say a little bit of stiffness over Christmas. However, the minute you start going back to your normal activities the overworked joint will already be so tired and will give you one or more of the following symptoms:
- Lower back pain
- Buttock pain
- Hip pain
- Sciatic Pain
- Calf muscle pain
Let’s make things a little bit easier to understand.
You sat down too much over Christmas and after the festive time you decide to go for a nice walk. The already overworked joint in your pelvis will then have to move even more to help you walk. This means more work beyond the joint’s ability to cope with = INJURY !!!
Take a look at this quick video and watch the “too much movement” from one hip…It moves too much because the other one is locked up after prolonged sitting beforehand…
Could you see that???
If not, please have another look, it’s so IMPORTANT for you to do so, trust me!
So let’s move onto the second main reason why all of us WILL pick at least one injury during or after Christmas…
The answer is: Because we don’t stretch at all!
This is because we are sitting down too much and everything eventually becomes stiff, making us lethargic (together with the radiator being full on!!!) and then we can’t be bothered stretching because “It’s Christmas”!!!
So what happens in our body when we don’t stretch at all?
Take a look at this quick video, the ones you already know it would love to watch it again!
It quickly explains what happens if we don’t stretch and how injury happens because of no stretch…
So lack of stretch causes:
- Stiff muscles which cause lack of movement
- Less blood circulation meaning our joints will not be supplied with the right amount of oxygen and nutrients.
- This will cause muscles to become even stiffer and very tight.
- Tight muscles pull on the joints and bones and cause injuries.
Further problems that lack of stretch can cause:
- Severe Back pain
- Sciatic pain
- Hip pain
- Buttock Pain
- Shoulder problems like Rotator Cuff injury and Tendonitis.
So if we don’t stretch, our muscles become stiff, tight and eventually this will cause them to shrink. Muscles that shrink start pulling both their ends together as you can imagine. If we take into account that both ends of one muscle attach to a tendon and then to a bone, you can then imagine how many bones and joints will be pulled apart from these tight, stiff and shrunk muscles. And this itslef is a typical scenario of an injury…
WHAT TO DO TO AVOID GETTING INJURED OVER CHRISTMAS
Watch this 5 second Christmas stretch!!!
Also, make sure you keep mobile around the house. Take the dog for a walk more than usual, put the kettle on a few times more than you would normally do. These things will get you standing up and moving around more which is very important not only for the joints in your pelvis but also for your muscles. They will be happy enough and they will stay fresh and also in a good mood whilst you are enjoying a nice Christmas drink, sat down and chatting to your loved ones. This is what Christmas is all about…
Have a wonderful time everyone and Merry Christmas to all of you…Many thanks for your reading 🙂
Any questions about injury, prevention and pain management please contact me on:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07527836754