David J. BenEliyahu, DC Coram-Selden Chiropractic Office 631-736-4414

man decorating christmas treeAccording to US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 15,000 injuries were seen in the ER in 2012 from holiday decorating. The CDC estimates over 6000 injuries from holiday decorating. Activities such as hanging lights standing on stairs and ladders, lifting decorations, and setting the Christmas tree cam overload the back and cause strains and sprains.

1. Decorating

  • Before decorating take time to stretch, be sure to lift with your legs not your back
  • When using a ladder be sure it is stable and level and have someone with you to hold it and help you.

2. Shopping

  • Distribute the weight of shopping bags equally on both sides of your body and don’t overstuff the bags
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Make frequent trips to the car to drop off packages, rather carrying multiple heavy bags
  • Avoid shopping during prime times that can increase strain while standing excessively
  • Consider on-line shopping, paying extra for the gift-wrapping service, and having direct shipped to the recipient

3. Wrapping

  • When wrapping avoid sitting or kneeling on the floor. Instead use a counter-top or folding table that you can place the gifts on and wrap them while standing.  Be sure that you stand on a padded surface, and that your forearms and elbows when bent to 90 degrees are at the level of the table

4. Baking

  • Be sure that you stand on a padded surface, and that your forearms and elbows when bent to 90 degrees are at the level of the table. 
  • Use good lifting mechanics when retrieving kitchen appliances from lower shelves or drawers. When bending over to take something out the oven, bend at your knees and use your legs to lift
  • Take time to stretch while baking and lean on the counter for a few seconds to take weight off your feet.

5. Traveling

  • If you are driving to visit relatives be sure to stop often to stretch. Keep your seat in a supportive position and place a pillow or rolled up towel behind your lower back. Place a U-shaped neck pillow around your neck to properly support your neck in case you fall asleep during the drive.

6. Exercise

  • Exercise is good for your mind and body. Be sure to take the time to continue your exercise routine. Just walking everyday can help minimize pain and decrease the stress of the season

7. Diet

  • Avoid overeating and maintain a healthy diet. Gaining weight can increase back pain
  • Fill up your plate with low calorie and healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and green leafy vegetables. Periodically indulging is okay but limit the number of cookies and candy you consume.
  • Avoid the excessive use of caffeine and alcohol and drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is good for your spine and general wellbeing.
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