Protecting Your Back While Decorating for the Holidays
Does the thought of decorating for the holidays make your back start to ache? You are not being dramatic – the heavy lifting, twisting and bending can be very hard on your back! In addition to that, thousands of people are treated in emergency rooms each year from falls and injuries related to holiday decorating activities. One of the Physician Assistants at Twin Cities Spine Center, Heather Collins, PA-C, has some tips for safely carrying out these treasured holiday traditions!
Improperly lifting heavy bins or boxes is the biggest culprit of back injuries around the holidays. As you prepare to head into the attic, basement or garage to retrieve those holiday decorations, follow these tips to lift your boxes without hurting your back.
- Feet should be shoulder length apart
- Bend knees and keep back straight
- Tighten your stomach muscles
- Lift with your legs
Falls are one of the top causes of new and chronic back pain. Some of your decorating may involve getting up on a ladder, so we would like to offer some tips for doing so safely.
- Be sure the ladder is on a stable, flat surface.
- Grab a buddy so that one of you can hold the ladder steady while the other climbs up.
- Place the ladder directly below where you need to reach. You don’t want to twist and reach in awkward positions, putting unnecessary strain on your back or neck.
- If you have balance issues or suffer from vertigo, stay off that ladder and ask someone else for help!
Whether you are trying to prevent injury or you suffer from chronic back pain, we hope these tips are useful and help to make your holidays a bit less painful!