If holiday lights appear brighter around Hampton Roads this year, it’s likely due to a desire to buoy seasonal spirits. We’ve had a rough year, to say the least, and it stands to reason that people want to do more at home to celebrate. Adding on to your regular outdoor light display means more work, though, and perhaps more stress on your body. Dealing with chronic joint pain, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a “grinch” when it comes to decorating as you wish.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over thirty percent of ER visits during the holidays happen following falls related to hanging Christmas lights. Whether you plan to string up a simple strand along the eaves or go all out and light up the lawn, it’s important to observe safety measures to prevent injury. If joint stiffness is an issue, take care not to exacerbate your pain and discomfort.
Before you begin, test all your light strands before setup. This will save you from having to take down and replace a display, and in turn put less strain on your joints.
Dress for the weather. Winter temperatures in Hampton Roads vary; however warm or cold it feels, dress appropriately but make sure what you wear doesn’t impede your work. Closed-toed shoes with good soles can keep you grounded when on a ladder. Leave the scarf inside for as long as you’re decorating as well, so it won’t get hung on a tree branch or other obstacle and risk an accident.
If you must use a ladder to hang lights, try to position yourself so you don’t have to reach too far above your head. Secure strands with plastic or insulated clips designed for decorating. Tacks or nails not only pose a threat to existing cables but if they fall and cause your lights to sag it’s more work and risk for you.
Holidays bring plenty of joy, but also physical and emotional stress that’s avoidable when you take care of your joints. Should you have questions about arthritis or pain due to injury, the physicians at VOSS are here to help. Contact us today for more information on our treatments and programs.