Come the first December, schedules pivot to accommodate the holidays. These days, it’s more about shopping for gifts and planning grand dinners for multiple guests. The spirit of the season now involves elaborate decor inside and out, and therefore may increase the risk of exacerbating aches and pains.
If you live with chronic joint pain but still wish to display your holiday cheer, it’s important to observe safety measures so you avoid further damage to your knees, elbows, spine, or wherever the pain is prominent. As you prepare to deck your halls, and eaves and elsewhere, look for ergonomic methods to help you along the way.
Lighting: Christmas lights are gorgeous when hanging and synchronized to blink out different colors. Untangling impossible knot, however, can inspire headaches to supplement the stiffness in your fingers. Look for ergonomic options when planning your light displays. Netting-style holiday lights may make it easier to decorate trees and wide spaces, for example. If you can spare the extra money, consider hiring out the job to a professional and give your home true holiday curb appeal.
Packages: Depending on your patience, gift wrapping is either a relaxing pastime or a necessary evil. It takes time to measure the perfect cut of paper from a roll, then get it around an oblong package without wrinkling or tearing. Patients with arthritis in the hands may have a difficult time handling scissors and tape, but it doesn’t mean unwrapped gifts have to go under the tree. Look for pre-wrapped boxes that are easy to open, or make use of gift bags and tissue paper to loosely wrap around presents.
Cooking: Large family gatherings for the holidays usually mean a large turkey and plenty of sides for everyone. If you are cooking the big feast this year, plan accordingly so as not to put much stress on your body. Serve side dishes and entrees in manageable portions. Use ergonomic utensils for serving. Keep a stool in the kitchen for sitting and take breaks as needed.
Keep your holidays merry and bright and free of joint pain. Contact Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists for information on our arthritis and joint fracture treatments and therapies.