Specialists from Vithas Costa del Sol health group offer nutritional and physical advice for a healthy Easter Week processions

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Miscellaneous, World Xanit | Posted on 12-04-2019


We are getting ready for a week full of passion, with some of us actively participating in the Brotherhoods processional parade that will make their way through the streets of Spain starting tomorrow. And although we understand the importance of devotion among people, the precautions must be taken when it comes to long processions when, given certain lack of preparation, can end up leaving a mark on our health. That is why today, Dr Antonio Narváez, Head of Traumatology Department at Vithas Xanit, Dr Diego Fernández, Head of Endocrinology and Nutrition Department at Vithas Xanit, and Rafael Díaz Soria, physiotherapist at Hospital Vithas Parque San Antonio, part of the Vithas health group, wanted to offer us some healthy advice so that the members of the brotherhood (nazarenos) or those carrying large floats (pasos) can have a season of healthy penance.


Paying attention to what we eat the days before and during the processions

– Nutrition must be taken care of by everybody actively taking part in Holly Week’s celebrations.

– Participating in Semana Santa parades without adequate nutrient intake can lead to lipothymias and lower blood glucose levels, as well as muscle cramps or even muscle injuries.

– Before embarking on processional activities, we should eat foods with great nutritional value such as cooked rice, wholemeal pasta and fruit and nuts.

– Avoid heavy meals and animal fats as fats can hinder physical performance due to the laborious digestive process required.

– During the processions, we should opt for small snacks, fresh and dried fruit, including walnuts or almonds as a source of energy.

– Proper hydration is also very important if possible avoiding fizzy drinks. We can also opt for infusions or isotonic drinks to restore electrolyte balance.


A good warm-up and stretching correctly during the processions are of great importance

From the physiotherapeutic point of view, the best prevention of injuries that can occur during the processional parade is the prior physical preparation.

– Wearing a lumbosacral corset during the procession is recommended, gradually loosening it towards the end of the procession.

– Functional bandages on ankles can help prevent injuries, especially on irregular terrains.

– Wearing suitable footwear that protects the ankle and if possible with air chamber for good distribution of weight on the feet.

– Post-processions, we advise applying local ice packs for 12-15 minutes at the level of the joints of the lower limbs, local heat packs at the level of the shoulder muscles to help relax the contracture and to stretch shoulder and cervical muscles, as well as lower limbs.

– Applying ice to inflamed joints, as well as a good physiotherapeutic treatment for muscle injuries.


All the above recommendations can help us avoid the most frequent injuries in people carrying the floats:

Joints: Inflammation of the acromioclavicular joint and shoulder. Knees also suffer on inclined terrains and the ankles when the terrain is uneven.

Spine: There is an asymmetric axial load on the spine that can cause inflammation of small posterior joints with pain and muscle contracture and sometimes displacement of the intervertebral disc with consequent compression of the nerves that go to the limbs, resulting in sciatica pain.

Contractures: Fibrillary breaks can sometimes occur, mainly in calves and quadriceps.