Holiday Injuries? Tips for avoiding them

In chiropractic practice, I find that certain injuries are seasonal. For example, there are more car accidents during the rainy months and more back injuries during the summer months when people are doing more gardening. But one of the peak times for new problems to arise is during the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Here is a list of the common injuries I see during the holidays. See how many you have experienced yourself. The solutions for preventing these injuries are included:

1) Back sprain from carrying Christmas tree purchased from lot.
This can happen when putting the tree on top of the car, putting it up in the house, or taking it down and dragging it to the street for pickup.
Tip: Have someone help you moving the tree around, even if it feels light enough to do by yourself. Wear gloves so you can get a better grip.

2) Car accidents during holiday driving.
Tip: Understand that there will be more traffic around stores and people driving are not thinking about avoiding hitting you. Be patient. Leave extra time for getting to your destination so that you don�t have to rush. Park far away from a store�s entrance if you have to just to avoid the craziness. The walking is good for you anyway. And of course if you�re going to a holiday party where there will be drinking, be sure to stay within your legal limits or have a designated driver with you.

3) Neck strain or wrist tendonitis from carrying store-bought bags of gifts
It only takes about 15 minutes of carrying too many things to begin to hurt a muscle. Our hands are not meant to contract for long periods of time carrying those big department store bags.
Tip:Use a cart if the store has them. Make frequent trips back to the car to drop off gifts.

4) Falls from ladder while putting up decorations.
This can happen when you�re pulling the decoration box out of the closet or garage or when putting them up around the house.
Tip: Any time you�re using a ladder and holding a load, be sure to have someone holding the ladder for you for stability. If the ladder has a warning sign not to stand on the top rung, don�t do it. You are more likely to fall if the ladder is top heavy.

5) Stress.
Whether it�s the crazy drivers or your own family that gives you stress, you�re not alone if you experience this during the holiday season. Stress causes tight muscles which pull spinal joints out of alignment.
Tip: First, remember that stress is only our interpretation of what�s going on around us. Other people can do things to make our lives difficult, but it�s up to our own thought processes whether we become stressed about them or not. Accept the fact that with family, not everything is going to go the way you might have planned or imagined it during holidays. Be patient with one another. This season is about love and about family being together after all. Be sure to leave some time to unwind at the end of the day. Listen to your favorite holiday music. Get plenty of rest. Take extra long showers. If the tight muscles tend to be in your shoulders, be sure to maintain good posture keeping your head over your shoulders. Forward head Posture (FHP) leads to trapezius muscle strain, so do your best to sit up straight.

If you have any of these problems during the season, give the office a call and set up an appointment. Chiropractic can help!

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