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8 Tips for avoiding injuries during holiday prep from a Gonstead Chiropractor

Mother and daughter decorating a tree
Decorate in a way that won't hurt your back.

The holiday season is a time of joy, love, and togetherness. However, it can also be a time of stress, frustration, and, worst of all, back pain. Between hanging lights, wrapping presents, lifting heavy trees, and dealing with holiday stress, it's no wonder many of us end up with body aches and pains during this time of year. As a Gonstead chiropractor, I've seen firsthand the toll that holiday preparation can take on the body. That's why I'm here to share some tips and tricks to help you get through the holiday season pain-free and with a smile. Following are 8 tips for avoiding injuries during holiday prep. 1. Stretching is Key Before you start any holiday prep, make sure you take the time to stretch your muscles properly. Specifically, focus on stretching your back, neck, and shoulders. Not only will this help prevent pain and discomfort, but it will also help you stay focused and energized throughout the day. 2. Lift with Your Legs, Not Your Back When lifting heavy objects such as Christmas trees or boxes of decorations, it's essential to use proper lifting techniques. This means lifting with your legs, not your back. Bend your knees and use the strength in your legs to lift the object off the ground. This will help prevent back injuries and keep you pain-free during the holiday season. And if it is over 50 pounds, ask for help.

Be careful when moving heavy Christmas tree,
Lift with your legs, not your back.

3. Use a Step Stool When hanging lights or reaching high shelves, use a step stool instead of stretching or reaching on your tiptoes. This will help prevent back, neck, and shoulder strain and ensure that you're working at a comfortable height. 4. Take Breaks It's easy to get caught up in the holiday frenzy and forget to take breaks. However, taking a few minutes every hour to rest and relax is essential. Take a deep breath, stretch your muscles, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will help prevent burnout and ensure you can enjoy the holiday season entirely.

Young child and mother enjopying the fun of decorating the tree,
Enjoy all that the holidays offers.

5. Wear comfortable supportive shoes.

From both personal and clinical experience, I have learned you will want to wear shoes with good support when shopping, decorating and cooking this holiday season. Poor support will lead to lower back, hip, knee and foot pain. I recommend a good sneaker or tennis shoes. Avoid Flip flops and flats.

6. Avoid overconsumption of alcohol and sugar

Alcohol and sugar can both lead to inflammation in the body, causing an exacerbation of aches and pains as well as headaches. I recommend avoiding alcohol when decorating to avoid injuries from slip and falls and ladder injuries due to poor balance.

7. Propper workstation height:

When wrapping presents, baking, etc., make sure you are working at the height best for you. I know me; I cannot wrap presents on the floor, it causes severe upper back spasms and subluxation. I work best using a high counter or table to avoid this. I know clinically that many of my patients have a hard time getting off the floor after spending extended time there wrapping presents due to back pain.

Enjoy wrapping special gifts during the the holidays.
Wrap presents at a table to reduce back strain.

8. See a Gonstead Chiropractor Last but not least, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with a Gonstead chiropractor if you're experiencing back or body pain during the holiday season. They can help diagnose and treat your pain and provide valuable tips and tricks to help keep you pain-free throughout the season. In conclusion, holiday preparation doesn't have to be a pain in the back. By following these tips and tricks, you can stay pain-free and healthy throughout the holiday season. Remember to stretch, lift with your legs, use a step stool, take breaks, wear good shoes, avoid overconsumption, use proper workstations for your height and see a Gonstead chiropractor if necessary. You can make this holiday season happy and pain-free with a little effort and care.

Happy Holidays,

Dr. Shelley Anderson

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