Mistletoe and tinsel and twinkling lights are just some of the eye candy we’ve all come to treasure this time of year. But navigating tricky ladders and moving heavy gifts and storage totes can also mean unwanted wear and tear on the body. Crystal Bourcier, DPT, COMT, Parkview TherapyONE gave us some quick tips for staying safe and full of good cheer this year. Take a little extra time to deck your halls the healthy way!
Q. What are the most common holiday injuries?
I have many people who come in with low back, knee and ankle injuries from slipping and falling on the ice this time of year.
Q. There’s a lot of luggage and boxes during the holidays. Any tips for lifting?
It’s typically best to have two people to lift heavy storage or gift boxes, as they are usually oversized, making them awkward to carry and over packed, making them too heavy. Always bend at the knees as much as possible and exhale upon the exertion to stand.
Q. Any recommendations for hanging holiday decorations?
Do a little bit at a time. Most decorations involve repetitive reaching overhead, which can cause shoulder tendonitis or cervical pain from end range extension looking up. Breaking up the task can lessen the strain on your body.
Q. How can we safely involve the kids in decorating?
The kids can hang all the non-breakable ornaments on the lower part of the tree. They can hold tinsel and light and help hand it to you around the tree. They can also push the vacuum to pick up all the tree debris.
Q. Is there a proper way to use a ladder?
Always use the ladder when someone else is around to help hold it and spot you. This way, in case there is an accident, you have someone to call for help.
Q. What’s the best way to bring the tree in the house?
Clear the path through your home and know your tree circumference and door width prior to carrying the tree. Keep the tree wrapped until it is standing firmly in the tree stand; this makes it easier to handle. Have 2-3 people to help lift the tree and open doors.
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