Later this month, thoughts collectively turn to family gatherings and magnificent turkey dinners, holidays from work and gift shopping. Rarely do we plan to injure ourselves in an accident around this time, but it happens.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 2010 alone, 13,000 people were treated for injuries related to putting up holiday decorations. (Source) For those currently dealing with chronic joint pain or recently recovering from a bone fracture or related condition, decking the halls could exacerbate your aches and stiffness, especially if you prefer the Griswold family approach to decorating. However, simple precautions while planning your decor will allow you to safely celebrate the season.
Know Your Limits. Listen to your body while trimming the tree and hanging boughs of holly. How heavy is that box of ornaments in the attic? Does your artificial tree require assembly, thereby putting strain on stiff hand joints? Sometimes, the risk of injury and/or worsening pain comes in retrieving the decorations. Know what you can do on your own, and designate others at home to help with the heavy lifting.
Keep It Steady. When the outdoor light strings come out of the shed, so do the ladders. Falls from ladders and roofs rank among the more common injuries that lead to bone fractures and pain, and such accidents risk greater problems if you already have arthritis or a similar condition. For decorating jobs that involve heights, make it a group effort with the most able person on ladder duty.
Call The Pros. Some landscape companies and other businesses moonlight in outdoor holiday decor. If you want a dazzling light display and large yard decorations set up this year, consider making room in the budget for hired help. This not only helps with your joint health, but frees up time for less strenuous seasonal tasks.
Do you have questions about joint pain? The experts at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists can help you determine the best treatment options. Contact us today to learn more about your options for pain management.