November 30th, 2017

Avoid Injury This Christmas


Christmas Can Cause Mayhem with so many famous Injuries from Christmas tree strain. Turkey Lifters Back, Shoppers Shoulder, TV Remote Thumb – any of them sound familiar?

Never mind the feeling of being more stuffed than the Christmas turkey there are other hidden dangers lurking around the Christmas tree. Turkey Lifters Back, Shoppers Shoulder, TV Remote Thumb may not be well known but they stalk the unwary festival reveller just the same.

We do notice a marked increase in patients coming in with aches and pains directly related to the Christmas holidays. Probably the biggest increase is in back pain associated with spending more time doing very little. We sit around watching television, eating and drinking and sometimes even a fair bit of stress.

Tree Mayhem for Backs

Bending and lifting awkwardly is well known to cause back pain. Lugging the Christmas in and trying to get it straight has its own hazard but also bending, stretching and twisting to put on the fairy lights and baubles start the strain.  Add in traipsing around the shops buying gifts and bending over on the floor wrapping them up pile on the pressure on your back joints and muscles.
Turkey Lifters Back

Who would have thought that a turkey could be so menacing. The benign bird becomes 25 lbs of sizzling danger when bending over to get it out of a hot oven. The other option of several manageable pre-sliced fillets somehow doesn’t conjure up the same feelings of festive cheer though.

No-one wants to be a killjoy but alcohol is a factor in many of the injuries we see. There is the obvious “PFO” (Pissed and Fell Over) to the more insidious pro-inflammatory effects of booze over several days. On the plus side there is a muscle relaxation effect of moderate alcohol intake but after 2 or 3 drinks this doesn’t work anymore.

Adrenal Stress and Back Pain

Loads of sugar can affect your back too amazingly. Sugar stimulates your adrenal glands amongst other things and this combined with alcohol, caffeine and stress can over-work your adrenal glands leading to adrenal fatigue. Not only can this leave you feeling very tired but your adrenal glands produce anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. Without this chemical any injury is likely to be more painful.

You made it into the afternoon on Christmas Day uninjured. You may have been working in the kitchen on your feet for hours and your back or shoulders may be tightening up but now it is time to relax. You slump down into the sofa and watch a bit of TV. It seems like you stay there until the end of Boxing Day and by the time it is all over you feel like your back is shouting.

Avoid Pain this Christmas

  • Although Christmas is a time for relaxation and rest, try to keep active. Prolonged periods without activity can also be bad for your back. Some gentle exercise over the festive period can help keep your muscles and joints healthy.
    Do your gift wrapping sitting down at a table rather than standing and bending over it or kneeling on the floor.
    Use a step ladder rather than stretching when putting up decorations
    Where flat and supportive shoes when shopping and decorating
    When standing in queues for long stretches, shift the brunt of your weight from foot to foot.
    Balance the weight of shopping bags evenly in each hand or use a shopping trolley.Take regular breaks when doing housework or cooking
    Use a table rather than standing up for some food preparation like peeling spuds
    Do several small trips rather than one major over-loaded trip.
    Bend your knees and stick your bottom out when lifting heavy stuff
    We hope you don’t have need of us but be assured that if you do, we are here.

Just call; Do you have a tale of holiday injuries or tips for avoiding them to share? Post in the comments section below.

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