by Lorraine Breau-Thompson, PT
The month of December can be hectic for many as we get busy decorating, shopping, baking, gift wrapping and socializing. Of course these are activities that we do all year long but usually not all at once.
Depending on where and how you store your winter decorations, you may have to climb up a ladder or squeeze in a small area to retrieve boxes. Be careful when lifting larger bins. Even when not heavy, their size can make lifting awkward, causing you to twist or arch your back. If the boxes are large, it is best to lift with a second person when possible. It is always best to make many trips to a room than to carry a heavy load all at once. If you are prone to having shoulder or neck problems, alternate overhead decorating with activities below shoulder level. Do your gift wrapping on a large table so that you can move around and avoid prolonged bending and twisting. Doing this on the floor always seems like a good idea at the time but this often causes recurring low back pain for many every year! When baking, squat to lift heavy bags of flour and mix, chop, stir at an appropriate work surface height for your stature. A countertop which is too high can lead to shoulder pain for example. It is a very important time to keep up your energy by getting proper rest, exercise and nutrition. This will make the rest of the activities so much more enjoyable!
Happy Holidays from all of us at Empower Physical Rehabilitation!