AOPT Health Blog
How to Avoid Injury During the Holidays

Around the holidays in the winter, you may be doing tasks that are less common for you in your everyday life. Stay healthy and strong during the holiday season with some tips from our physical therapists.

Low Back Pain

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 15,000 injuries in November and December are related to holiday decorating. Generally, the low back is most often hurt from these activities.

RX: Prevent injury by strengthening the core

  1. 30 second- 1 minute plank 1x a day, 5x a week

Lifting Injuries

Often known as the “santa strain” lifting injuries are more prevalent during the winter months. Some common activities to be mindful of:

  • Lifting, rolling, trekking suitcases
  • Carrying and unloading boxes and shopping bags
  • Moving trees and holiday decorations

RX: Lift from the legs and hinge at the hips

  1. Hinge technique practice: 10 reps, 3 sets, 5x a week

Snow Shoveling

According to Harvard Medical School, snow shoveling is linked to increased risk of heart attack. Our blood pressure increases in cold temperatures and causes blood to be more likely to clot. In addition to the physical exertion placed on the heart with snow shoveling, this is where cardiovascular issues can arise.

U.S. Nationwide Children’s Hospital ran a study in 2017 that concluded that risk of a heart attack if you are over 55 increases by 4x if you are snow shoveling.

RX: If you are at risk of heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight), and are over 55, avoid snow shoveling.


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