Preventing holiday-related injuries

People are involved in a lot of activities this time of the year.

BOISE - Each winter more than 50,000 people suffer from winter-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. They also found more than 5,800 of those injuries are from holiday decorating alone.

"This time of year, there's a lot of extra activities that people are involved in besides their work and their regular routine,” said Dr. Shawn Allen, a chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

Shopping, parties and traveling are all things that can make the holiday season a hectic time for many people.

“When we get stressed out, when we're living chaotically and things like that our bodies manifest that stress and everything tightens up,” Allen said. “As that happens, those muscles get tight and then you can't move like you want to.

Tie that in with holiday and winter activities like hanging up lights, shoveling snow, lifting heavy packages and even setting up your Christmas tree.

“Trees can weigh between 50 and 70 pounds, so they're really heavy and kind of awkward,” Allen said. “People kind of tend to over extend themselves when they’re lifting things that are heavy and awkward.

Tasks that can lead to sprains and strains.

“They overexert themselves and those muscles will be over used,” Allen said.

There are ways to prevent these injuries. Make sure to stretch before and after physical activity to loosen muscles. If you're carrying heavy boxes, lift with your legs not your back. Also, if you have a lot of boxes to carry, try to make multiple trips instead of one.

“Keep the packages closer to your center of gravity, closer to your body rather than extending them out. The further out that they are from your spine and your back and center of gravity, the more stress it puts on your back."

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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