Whether it be hanging the lights, shoveling the snow (thankfully not here in Florida), walking and standing too long, or simply eating too much, the holidays can cause havoc on your back. Did you know that low back pain is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits in the United States? Nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, and five out of ten working adults have back pain every year.
However, there are simple things that you can do to reduce injury risk and minimize or eliminate back pain:
Travel Tips: Wear comfortable shoes with good arch supports to help you walk long distances, and comfortable, loose-fitting clothes to help you stay comfortable throughout your trip. Also, give yourself extra time because when you rush, you are less aware of your body movements, which can cause stress and strain on your back. Don’t overpack. Take two smaller bags rather than one heavier big suitcase.
Shopping Tips: Shop during the off-peak hours to avoid having to stand on long lines and walk through crowded areas. Distribute the weight of shopping bags evenly, and avoid carrying bags for too long.
Cooking Tips: Prepare meals on a work surface that is most comfortable for you, or at elbow level. Stand on a cushioned mat or non-slip rug to avoid muscle fatigue and back ache. When taking heavy pans from the oven, lift from the knees, not the waist.
Eating Tips: Excess weight gained during the holidays can also place strain on the spine. According to one survey, 69% of Americans estimate that they gain up to eight pounds during the winter holiday season. Excess weight increases the likelihood of back injury, can aggravate existing injuries and can make it more difficult to recover.
Decorating Tips: Approximately 5,800 Americans go to emergency rooms every year due to injuries, including back injuries, sustained from holiday decorating related falls only. Take your time, mind your posture, and watch your step as you bend, stoop and stretch to retrieve items from your basement, shed or attic. Don’t lift heavy boxes alone; ask a family member or friend to help you. Use a sturdy stool or ladder for reaching high places.
So follow these tips this holiday season to avoid having to see the chiropractor while others are celebrating!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those who suffer back injuries from car accidents, motorcycle crashes, Florida workers’ compensation claims and other personal injury matters. His Clearwater personal injury law firm–Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes–has been caring for clients since 1955. Click here to schedule a free case consultation with Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes.