Daily Life

Tips for Controlling Pain While Cooking for Thanksgiving

Christina Lasich, MD Mar 30, 2012 (updated Jan 9, 2014)
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Instead of avoiding the kitchen, now is the perfect time to plan a way to control pain while you cook. Dr. Christina Lasich provides six ways to help you control pain while you cook.

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Make or stage dishes ahead of time
Make or stage dishes ahead of time
Sit down and look at your meal plan. Break it down into things that can be made ahead of time and things that can be staged before the big day.
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Why stand when you can sit
Why stand when you can sit
Try moving that cutting board to the table and chop while sitting. Try moving those green beans to the living room and snap while sitting or reclining.  Just remember to have good posture!
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Lean on your high counter top
Lean on your high counter top
Especially if you have low back pain, leaning on a high counter top with both hands bearing some of your weight can help take some pressure away from the spine joints.
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Find comfortable positions
Find comfortable positions
Play around with different body positions while you cook by using available furniture, step stools, books or pillows.  Frequently changing body positions while you cook can greatly improve the way you feel.
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Ask for help
Ask for help
Just because you are the host or hostess does not mean that your guest should not have to lift a finger while you are blinded with pain. Go ahead, be brave, and ask for help.
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Take breaks
Take breaks
Do not try to do everything at once. Set your timer for every hour and take a 10 to 20 minute break in your favorite chair - like a zero gravity chair. Pacing yourself with frequent breaks can help you endure cooking while in pain.