Back pain,

Preventative Exercises for Santa this Christmas- By Dee Ryan

  Preventative Exercises for Santa this Christmas!

It is well-known to all that Santa has a very busy night ahead on Christmas Eve. We do not doubt that Santa is in top physical shape but we wanted to provide him with a few tips to ensure his risk of injury is at an all- time low to allow him to do what he does best. In order to be specific I am going to focus on the position which Santa will have to adopt for long periods of time  ….. driving his sleigh!

santa1

Santa will spend a lot of time sitting in his sleigh. As with any amount of prolonged sitting there lies the risk of developing low back pain. To ensure he does not stiffen we recommend pelvic tilts in sitting. This will allow Santa to mobilise his low back and to provide a relative stretch to the muscles positioned parallel to his low back. This exercise is simple and straightforward it involves rolling forwards and backwards off the sit-bones in a slow and controlled manner.   His back will be grateful for this movement little and often throughout the night. We feel Santa will find it easier to get on and off the sleigh as a result of keeping his back mobile, especially when considering how cold it will be that high up in the sky.

Sitting at desk

Physio Rathmines

Secondly as Santa is driving his team of superb reindeer he will be holding the reins out in front of his body. This can commonly cause us to allow our shoulders to move forward and to round our upper back. I recommend Santa does shoulder retraction exercises throughout the night. This involves moving the shoulder blades back and down. By doing so he will be enforcing correct alignment of his shoulders and will be opening up through his chest muscles.

shoulder-retraction

    

The third exercise we recommend is seated thoracic rotation- this will mobilise Santa’s upper back. We recommend that Santa continues to hold the reins throughout this exercise and that he hips his hips forwards to further bias his upper back.

Other tips for the night:

When placing the presents under the tree we recommend Santa should bend down onto his knees and keeps the presents in close to his body until he is close to the ground – this will prevent excessively loading his low back.

santa-3

Similarly, when going down the chimney Santa should try keep in arms in close to his body to ensure his shoulders are not stretched beyond their capacity.

Back pain,

Our Team at Personal Health are in complete agreement with Theresa Mannion- we do not condone unnecessary journeys on our roads- particularly over the Christmas period when the weather can be treacherous. However, should you find yourself driving for a prolonged period of time we recommend the top 3 exercises on our list for Santa.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from the Team at Personal Health!