You can add this to our recent article about how physiotherapy helps you become a better parent. What’s more important than pulling off a great Santa guise, be it for your kids, nieces/nephews, little cousins, or whomever you need to convince? More importantly, how will physical therapy help you prepare for this ambitious goal in time for the Holidays? Keep reading.
5 Reasons Why You Need to See a Physical Therapist Before Playing Santa This Holiday Season
1. Does Someone Sitting on Your Lap Hurt?
You have one job Santa! If people can’t sit on your lap then you’re out of a gig this season. When it hurts when someone sits on your lap you are experiencing pain in the upper thigh. The pain may range from a mild ache to a sharp shooting sensation and may also be accompanied by itching, tingling, numbness, and difficulty walking soon after you stand up. There are a variety of contributors for upper thigh pain, namely meralgia paresthetica (caused by pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve), blood clot or deep vein thrombosis, greater trochanteric pain syndrome (typically caused by injury, pressure, or repetitive movements), iliotibial band syndrome, muscle strains, and hip flexor strains. As you can see, physical therapy can be employed to diagnose and treat all of the above, assuming your physician has cleared you of anything else that may be causing the problem (i.e. diabetes).
2. Jolly Bellies Lead to Back Pain
While a jolly belly may make you a great candidate for Santa the depilating back pain that often accompanies it does not. It’s a fact that excessive weight, especially in the belly, strains the back muscles and ligaments and results in back pain. When you carry this excess weight your spine bears the burden. The upper spine can’t straighten out properly and over time you may develop an unnatural curvature that leads to further complications. Plus, the weight gain in your abdomen forces your pelvis to slant forward which then forces your lower back to curve forward and it becomes rounded. When that happens, additional pressure is placed on your nerves and leads to lower back pain.
From here on in regular exercise backed by a healthy diet will help you correct the problem, and in the future you will have to swap out your belly fat for a pillow when playing Santa. But for this Holiday season you need to get in an see a chiropractor right away to begin treatment for your back pain.
3. Are You Straining to “Ho Ho Ho”?
Belting out a hefty “Ho Ho Ho” is imperative to playing Santa, but if you find you’re out of breath when doing so and let out a wheeze then you may need to see a physiotherapist. Your breathing issues may be connected to seasonal mucus/phlegm buildup, at which point vibration, percussion, and postural drainage can be applied to clear breathing passages naturally. A physiotherapist can help you develop proper breathing techniques. For example, if you are an apical breather a your therapist will help correct the habit and teach you how to breathe through your diaphragm properly. Pretty soon you’ll be bellowing loud enough for the whole neighborhood’s kids to hear.
4. Santa is Not Allowed to Have the Sniffles
This is completely unacceptable. For one, kids expect you to be somewhat superhuman (how else can you get around the planet in one night?) and so a Santa with the sniffles is a suspect one. Plus, if you catch a cold, you may pass it on to all who come to see you. Not cool, Santa. Instead, by making physiotherapy a part of your health and wellness regime you will have stumbled upon what may very well be the most natural cure for the common cold? Don’t believe us? Santa’s helpers don’t lie – read all about it here.
5. Helps Everyone Else Sleep Through The Night Before Christmas
As your household’s Santa (filling in for the real deal of course) you need everyone to fall fast asleep while you gather up presents and put them under the tree while filling stockings to the brim. If you really want to up the game you’ll even leave some evidence outside in the snow, planting footsteps on the roof or stoop (depending on where you live) late at night so when the kids awake the proof of Saint Nick is in plain sight. For all of this to go without a hitch (i.e. being discovered) you need everyone to be sound asleep. This is where family physiotherapy comes in! By having your of-age family join you in physiotherapy they can learn about and discover better sleeping positions while undertaking a healthy exercise regime that guarantees they’ll be tuckered out by the end of Christmas eve. Just be sure to load up on a few cups of java so that you don’t pass out along with them – Santa’s got work to do!
You’ve still got time to fill St. Nick’s custom orthotic boots but it all starts with a consultation at our clinic. Call us today at 604.558.2273.