Skip to content

Turkeys – The silent spinal killers

A large turkey in a hot oven

Quiet. Silent. Unassuming. You would never think twice that it could bring you down to your knees in an instant. Like a siren singing songs and luring sailors to their deaths in the ocean, the delicious wafting smell of the Christmas turkey is the same culprit in a tastier form.

Every year we have at least one patient who comes in with acute back pain that is secondary to tending to the turkey in the oven. Why? Well, most turkeys we cook are heavy. But it’s not just the fact that they’re heavy; taking turkeys in and out of the oven is difficult because of the oven door. To avoid burning ourselves, most of the time we are bent over awkwardly and have our arms outstretched when handling the turkey. “But it’s only 15-20 pounds, it’s not that bad!” WRONG. Research shows that any weight in your hands at ARM’S length is anywhere from 3-10 times as heavy as it is. So that 20 pound turkey is actually anywhere for 60 to 200 pounds in weight. The best is if you have a tray that pulls out and you move to the side of the oven and pull the turkey out, keeping it closer to your body while your arms are bent. That will ensure your Christmas is much more spine-friendly.

Now, let’s talk about those other turkeys:


These turkeys can also be heavy!

Leaning over the railing to put down and pick up your baby, especially when he/she starts to get larger and heavier can also be detrimental to your back. Best way to combat this ‘baby-back’ is to first off have a crib where you can adjust the side railing. The ability to bend down at the knees and place your baby into the crib is best, however if that’s not possible, then next best is to slide your baby closer to the railing if you’re picking up, or placing closer to the railing if putting down and gently moving him/her over. The closer any weight is to your body on picking up/putting down the better. And yes, sometimes putting a baby down and keep him/her asleep is like trying not to set off a landmine, that I can absolutely understand, so do your best!

Mindful placement in both instances will ensure that neither Turkey 1 nor Turkey 2 will put you out of commission for Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Please feel free to visit our south clinic’s website at and our north clinic’s website at, and our Facebook page at!  You can also call to book with Dr. Bajor at the north location behind the Superstore at 403-945-1349 or contact the south location in the Airdrie CO-OP at 403-945-0855 to book with Dr. Jacqueline Boyd!

Drs. Jacqueline Boyd and Paul Bajor are also both registered and active members of the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association).