BRANCHBURG – After centuries of lugging a heavy bag over one shoulder, eating too many Christmas cookies, crouching in a sleigh while being pulled by eight reindeer and living a sedentary lifestyle for 364 days a year, it may be time for Santa Claus to make an “adjustment” to his health says the Association of NJ Chiropractors.
“It is imperative that in order for Santa to be healthy enough to fulfill his mission of delivering children’s favorite toys and goodies on his sleigh all over the world for many more centuries to come, he needs to start treating his body better and that means making some healthy choices, with a chiropractic adjustment the perfect place to start,” said Dr. Joseph D’Angiolillo, President of the ANJC.
Based on observances over the abuse done to his physical being over the centuries, the ANJC has determined that jolly old St. Nick may be in danger of suffering from the following lower back and neck problems.
- Lower back pain caused by obesity, sedentary lifestyle and lifting a bag filled with tons of toys.
- Back and neck pain caused from tossing the bag of toys over his shoulder.
- Knee strain from climbing down chimneys and crouching in his sleigh.
In order to ensure a healthy Santa, the ANJC offers these 10 health tips for him to follow:
- It is time for Santa to follow a year-long exercise program. This helps alleviate physical stress placed on his body this time of year. Santa’s big belly is the worst culprit, as it puts unwanted pressure on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in his lower back.
- Santa needs to equally distribute the weight he carries between both arms. Santa’s elves need to repack his bag to evenly distribute items he is carrying. He should stop trying to be a hero by carrying one enormous bag over his shoulder.
- Santa should warm up and do a lot of stretching before attempting to lift any packages or items.
- He should also avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine, especially while lifting.
- He should make sure to bend his knees when attempting to lift these packages.
- How heavy is the bag? Santa should check the weight before attempting to lift any packages. He can do so by pushing the object lightly or moving it with his feet to see how easily it moves. Small items sometimes are heavier than the big ones. If you can’t move it, get a bunch of elves to help.
- When sitting in his sleigh, Santa needs to keep his knees slightly higher than his hips, with his head up and back straight.
- He also needs to avoid rolling his shoulders in the sleigh or slouching.
- According to legend, Santa sleeps on his back with his whiskers out of the covers. Sleeping on one’s back puts approximately 50 pounds of pressure on your spine. Santa should consider placing a pillow under his knees while lying on his back or sleep on his side with a pillow between his knees.
- Before starting an exercise program, Santa should consult with his doctor before beginning.
The Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is one of the largest associations of chiropractors in the nation, with over 1900 members, statewide.
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