It seems that when the holidays roll around many of my patients will tell me they did something to make their pain worse or did something to make another part of their body hurt because they had to get the decorations up. Now I am not suggesting being a Scrooge and not decorating for the holidays but I am suggesting that you be smart about it. Things that will most likely increase your pain are bending, lifting, twisting and reaching all the things you “have to do” to decorate. Therefore, here are my suggestions on how to get all of the decorations up without getting your pain level up.
*Pace yourself. Most of us want to get the decorating up all at once. *Plan your decorating over a week instead of one weekend. This will decrease the chance of you getting tired and performing an unguarded movement and hurting yourself.
*Make more trips. Do not try to bring up all the decorations at once make several trips instead of one.
*Use a step stool or ladder when decorating the tree and instead of reaching, move the ladder so you do not have to stretch to get the ornaments on the tree.
*Do not twist (keep your shoulders and hips in line) when decorating.
*Do not be too proud to ask for help. You do not have to be the only one to lift the tree and stand it up.
Following these suggestions will take longer to get the house ready for Santa but if you follow these ideas, you will be in less pain and be able to enjoy your holidays more.
If you have questions about how to decorate for the holidays a Physical Therapist can help, call Rehab Associates 855-RACV4PT for a free 10-minute phone consultation about pain. We may not be Santa’s elves but we can help.