The holidays are a time of frequent travel, winter sports and family activities, which also may increase injuries and hospital visits. From falls while hanging up your holiday lights, to straining yourself trying to decorate the tree, more than 68,000 visits to doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, and clinics for injuries related to holiday decorating took place in 2015, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. That same year, more than 84,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to luggage carrying.
With the busy pace that comes along with the end of the year, people may be more susceptible to bone, joint and muscle-related injuries. In this blog post, we’re going to fill you in on a few ways to keep you healthy and safe this holiday season.
Before hanging up your Christmas lights, inspect your ladder for any loose screws and clean off any mud or liquids that may have accumulated on the ladder to prevent an injury from occurring. Be sure to select the right ladder for your job, no matter how high or low of a height you’re working with. Keep in mind that the weight on the ladder should never exceed its maximum load capacity.
As we’ve previously discussed, carrying a bag that is too heavy can cause some serious damage to the shoulders and back. For instance, carrying a heavy bag on the same side of the body for a long period of time can cause the shoulder to roll forward and down. This will, in turn, cause the muscles in the upper back and neck to stretch, and can lead to weak muscles. That’s why it’s important to pack light this holiday season, and to use luggage with wheels when traveling.
When lifting your luggage, be sure to bend at your knees and lift with your leg muscles, instead of your back and waist. To prevent an injury from taking place, avoid twisting or rotating your spine as well.
Some of you may be traveling to ski or snowboard this holiday season, and it’s important to know what to do beforehand to prevent an injury from taking place. Before hitting the slopes, warm up your muscles and do not overdo aerobic activities. And even though it’s cold outside, remember to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Wear appropriate protective gear before your activity starts, and dress in layers. By wearing multiple layers, your body will be able to adapt to the constant changing temperatures. This will reduce the chance of an injury.
Keep your holiday season full of cheer by taking a few extra precautions. If you follow these simple tips, you’re sure to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.
This article was adapted from OrthoInfo. Read the full article here.
If you have any questions about staying injury-free this holiday season, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.