As continued pandemic alerts are likely to limit social activities through the holidays, it’s not surprising to see people compensating by amplifying activities at home. If some yard displays for Halloween in your neighborhood appear more extravagant than in the past, it may serve as a reminder that we can still celebrate the spirit of the season. Adjustments are required this year, and if you live with chronic pain you should also observe safety precautions as you prepare.
If you manage arthritis or another type of joint pain, it’s important to be aware of your limitations when it comes to planning holiday activities. When you think of joint aches and stiffness as they relate to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, you should consider that not all discomfort is connected to hanging lights on the house while standing on a rickety ladder.
Some of the more common holiday mishaps that can exacerbate joint pain include:
Improper extension cord placement: According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, roughly 4,000 injuries during the holiday season are attributed to accidents involving extension cords. This includes people tripping over cords that aren’t properly secured, thereby causing fractures and sprains.
Heavy lifting: Injuries to the neck, back and shoulders are common among people straining to carry heavy luggage during holiday travel. Lifting large boxes of decorations without properly bending at the knees also poses a risk for joint pain this time of year.
Food triggers: Halloween and Christmas especially bring a multitude of sweets and hot beverages with whipped cream and marshmallows. Excess sugar, according to some studies, may contribute to joint inflammation as the body is depleted of minerals like potassium and magnesium. It’s important to watch what you eat over the holidays for various reasons, including your joint health.
Observing safe procedures for home and yard decorating and other holiday preparations can help you manage your joint pain and enjoy the season. Don’t forget to limber up with stretching exercises before you take on complex tasks, and don’t try to carry and lift more than you’re capable of doing. When you need assistance with joint pain — be it a minimally-invasive procedure to reduce severe pain or physical therapy to help manage aches and stiffness — the team at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists are here to help.
Contact us today for more information on our treatment programs and how we can help you.