Tips to Avoid Injury During the Holidays

Orthopedic DoctorThough the holiday season is upon us, your orthopedic doctor is still as busy as ever. Part of the reason for the steady influx of patients this time of year is injury, both from athletic and non-athletic activities. How can you protect yourself and enjoy everything about this wonderful time of year? Here are some tips.

Warm Up

That casual pick-up game in your local neighborhood is no less exertion than a formally scheduled team game. Before jumping right in to this type of activity, take a little time to stretch and get your muscles ready. You’ll prevent muscle tears and pulls, plus your joints will love you for it.

Ladder Safety

When using a ladder to do exterior holiday pre-cleaning or decorating, ensure that the ladder is firmly planted on all four feet. Have someone hand you items, or put them on a high rung before climbing. Make sure you are wearing closed-toe shoes with good traction, such as a sneaker or work boot. Always use a ladder or step stool instead of standing on furniture or countertops. With so many emergency room visits resulting from holiday decorating falls, make sure you aren’t counted in that statistic.

Lifting and Moving

When cleaning and decorating for holidays, make sure you aren’t lifting things improperly. An orthopedic doctor sees a large number of knee and back injuries this time of year due to heavy furniture being moved using bad technique or without assistance. Take extra care and call a friend or neighbor to help with heavy items.

Snow Sports

If you’ll be in an area with snow this holiday season, protect your joints and muscles before participating in snow sports. Skiing and snowboarding can be particularly rough on knees and ankles since you are bending and changing direction quickly. Warm up and stretch well before activity, and know your limits. Slopes that are above your skill level can quickly result in injury.

Your orthopedic doctor wants you to stay safe and happy this holiday season. Prepare your body and use common sense so you can stay healthy and active!

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