Seems to be the holiday season arrives earlier and earlier each year. We often find ourselves rushing to get the decorations down and the house and yard decorated, which can be harmful to our health. Improper preparation can lead to pain and injury. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System last year alone, nearly 12,000 people reported to emergency rooms due to injuries from holiday decorations. We do not want you to be one of those injuries!
Common causes of injuries associated with holiday decorations are retrieving decoration boxes, stringing lights, and spending too much time on your feet.
Below are some tips on how to avoid injury and pain this holiday season.
How to Properly Lift Heavy or Awkward Items:
Prior to taking down the holiday decorations from the attic, garage, or storage unit, make sure to do some light stretching. This can help loosen the muscles in the back and release tension.
Always ask for help when lifting heavy or awkwardly sized items. Did you know an average Christmas tree (6-8’) can weigh between 50-70 lbs.! That is a lot for one person to carry. This additional weight against your body can put additional force on your spine, especially the discs and nerves. Get the family in on the decorating and make sure you have someone to help share the load.
When fetching items from storage, overextension can lead to neck and arm injuries and lower back pain. When picking up a box make sure to keep the spine in the neutral position and flex your hips and knees to pick up the box (think squats). Keep that box close to your body as you pick it up to protect the back.
Proper Ladder Placement:
When putting up outside lights always place the ladder at a 75-degree angle and on level and firm ground. Avoid overstretching, do not lean too far to one side. Always have a spotter at the bottom of the ladder.
Combatting Standing for Extended Periods:
During the holiday season we can find ourselves standing for longer periods than typically normal. There are hours of walking the malls shopping and many days spent in the kitchen baking and cooking for family and friends. Make sure you take regular breaks and wear supportive footwear to alleviate any back pain.
Routine chiropractic visits are ESSENTIAL! Make sure to keep up with your adjustments during this time more than ever. This is extremely beneficial in preventing and managing pain, thus ensuring you can enjoy the holiday season to its fullest!