, Gloucester, MA


December 13, 2012

Preventing probable pains of the season

The holidays are about enjoying time with family and friends. From good tidings and cheer and everything in between, December is full month of living.

Let’s not forget decorating too — sometimes it’s half the fun of the season. Preparing the house for visitors is often the catalyst that allows us to get in the spirit, so to speak. And it’s often a source of some pretty painful injuries.

Knowing a little bit about the activities that are most likely to land you in trouble can be worth as much as all the presents underneath the tree depending on what injury you’re talking about, so read on to see some of the perils of holiday decorating.

Your rotator cuff is at a serious risk if you’re hoisting a tree over your shoulder and placing it on top of a car. The tree doesn’t have to be heavy — a 40-pounder can be 5 feet long easily, and a 5-foot tree becomes awkward very quickly. Do your shoulders a favor and have a second pair of hands nearby. Chances are you’re picking out a tree with someone else anyhow.

The dangers of the kitchen extend well beyond a hot stove. Repetitive strain injuries of the elbows, wrists and hands are all too common in the last calendar month of the year. From lifting heavy pans to tediously twisting prosciutto around scallops and asparagus, your arms are certainly at risk. Take breaks frequently and don’t be afraid to ask for help lest your arms become martyrs for the season.

A dry tree is an unhappy tree, but an unhappy back is even worse. Crouching and squatting to reach deep to the center of the tree is a formula for a lumbar disc injury. Next time you water, which may have to be every day depending on the heat in your house, try getting your entire body on the floor. Use a tall, skinny pitcher or something that pours easily but isn’t too heavy and it’ll lessen the load on your back.

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