Avoiding Back Pain While Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

Cooking for long periods of time can take a toll on your back. Here are some tips you can use to safely prepare your Thanksgiving meal without developing back pain.

When lifting the turkey, hold the pan close to your body as you take it to the oven. Bend at your knees, not at your lower back, as you lower it onto the oven rack. When taking the turkey out, bend at your knees and pull the rack out keeping your back straight while lifting the turkey out. Keep the turkey close to you. Pivot your feet without twisting your back, to bring the turkey to the counter top.

While peeling potatoes or slicing vegetables, you can prevent your back from hurting by either sitting down or by opening a lower cabinet door and setting one foot on the shelf. This takes weight off the back and prevents you from leaning forward as you work at the counter.

When you are cleaning up after your meal and putting things into the dishwasher, limit bending forward. Kneel down and have someone hand you the dirty dishes, or bend at the knees and keep your back straight while lowering plates to the bottom rack.

Exercising with a Physioball

Purchasing a Physioball:
The size of the Physioball depends on your height.
– 5’ 4” or shorter- purchase a 55 cm diameter ball.
– 5’4” and 5’10”- purchase a 65 cm ball
– Taller than 5’10”- purchase a 75cm ball.
* When you sit on the ball, your knees should be at a 90 degree angle.

Examples of Physioball exercises:

1. Crunches- Sit on the ball and walk your feet out so the ball is under your mid back. Clasp your hands behind your head and do a partial sit up. You can also come up rotating to each side to work the obliques.

2. Push ups- Lie over the ball with your stomach on the ball and your hands on the
floor. Walk your hands out so the ball is under your thighs to perform a push up. The farther the ball is toward your ankles, the harder it will be to do the push up.

3. Squat- Put the ball behind your back against the wall. Tighten your abdominal muscles and perform a squat holding it for 5 seconds.

4. Russian twist- Sit on the ball and walk your feet out in front of you until the ball is under your shoulder blades. Clasp hands toward the ceiling or hold on to a weight. Rotate your upper torso to the left then the right.

5. Bridge- Lie on the floor and put your feet up on the ball with your knee straight. Raise your bottom up into a bridge and hold for 5 seconds.

Abdominal Crunch Exercise
Abdominal Crunch Exercise