The time has come to deck the halls and decorate your home for the holiday season! In most homes, the holiday décor is tucked away in an attic corner, shoved in a closet, or stashed in the basement. While this is usually a fun and exciting time… unpacking the boxes, hauling the tree, and hanging lights are ways that back pain can present. There are holiday decorating tips to reduce the chance of injury while making the home bright and cheery, let’s review them!
Simply getting the boxes and totes down from the attic or out of there hiding places can cause pain if not done correctly.
When moving boxes and totes from room to room, first things first…ensure that the walkway is clear and free from trip hazards! Second, assess the object in which you need to move. Holiday décor boxes and totes may be manageable for one person. Holiday tree boxes can be heavy and awkward, in which two people may be needed. If you question that the object is too heavy or too awkward to tackle yourself…do not try it! Ask for help.
Proper Lifting Techniques
When lifting a box from the floor, start by standing close to the box. Squat down with your knees and center the box between your knees. Keeping your spine straight and your abdominals contracted slightly, stand straight up by straightening your knees.
Another option is to kneel on one knee positioned slightly behind the box with the other bent knee and flat foot positioned beside the box. With your spine straight and your abdominals slightly contracted, stand slowly into a lunge like position and then continue to stand fully erect.
Do NOT bend at the waist and lift the box. This is how injury occurs!
Proper Carrying Techniques
Once the object is properly lifted, be sure to keep the object close to your body while maintaining that slight abdominal contraction to support your low back. Avoid twisting at the waist while holding the object. If you must turn, turn your entire body into the direction in which you need to go. When you are ready to set the box down, make sure you squat down and lower the box to the floor. Do NOT hinge at the waist and lower the box.
Proper Reaching Techniques
Overhead work and reaching can cause pain to the neck, shoulders, elbow, and wrists. When having to work overhead for an extended period of time whether it be hanging decorations on the tree or decorating the mantle, consider using a step ladder. When having to reach and pull objects from an elevated area, use the step ladder get closer to the object you are trying to reach to avoid excess strain of your shoulders.
Use a step stool/ladder
Always inspect the ladder before using it! Be sure there are no broken rungs or missing screws. When using a step ladder, ensure that all four legs are securely set on the ground. When using an expandable outdoor ladder, it needs to be placed on a firm surface and leaning against a solid, non-slip surface. When using the ladder outside, be sure the weather is cooperating. Avoid being on a ladder in windy, snowy, or rainy environments. Be sure to wear proper footwear with adequate traction to avoid slipping.
When climbing any ladder, face the ladder directly and use a three point-of-contact climb. This means there are always either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand directly on the ladder. This helps to avoid feeling unstable and slipping. Climb slowly and carefully. When hanging objects, be sure to balance your body weight on the ladder while using the ladder for support. Be sure to stay close to the ladder and avoid over-reaching and leaning backward.
Happy Holidays from Miller Sports & Family Chiropractic
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and holiday decorating, remember to care for your body! Contact Us today to schedule your appointment. From the team here at Miller Sports & Family Chiropractic, we wish you a joyous, healthy, and happy holiday season!