With Thanksgiving and other end-of-year holidays right around the corner, our orthopedic specialists want you to be safe and healthy. So, here are some tips to keep your musculoskeletal system in good working order, and you, happy and able to enjoy time with family and friends.
The Holidays Can Be Dangerous
We’re not just referring to motor vehicle accidents, but rather to the day-to-day hazards of preparing for a Thanksgiving feast or for other festive occasions. Take for example, what can happen as you travel for Thanksgiving. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that 72,000 people suffered luggage-related injuries in 2019 alone.
Picking up and carrying a heavy bag can do a lot of damage if you do it incorrectly. Twist and turn the wrong way retrieving luggage from an airport carousel, and you could have sudden lower back pain, a sprained wrist, or a bone or joint injury.
From Our Orthopedic Team: Tips For a Safe Thanksgiving
Here are some common-sense strategies you can use to keep yourself pain- and injury-free during the holiday season.
Carve Your Turkey with Care
Hand lacerations and tendon injuries are common at Thanksgiving and Christmas as people carve and serve turkeys and hams. As such, our orthopedic surgery specialists in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda FL, advise these safety tips:
- Don’t drink and carve. Leave the wine or other alcoholic beverage for during or after your meal.
- Use sharp knives only, as dull carving utensils require more force to cut meat and separate legs and wings from the main bird.
- Cut and carve with the knife blade away from your hands and body.
- Concentrate on the task at hand–literally. Distractions can cause many carving mishaps.
Pack Your Suitcases Lightly
Better to pay extra for more luggage than to cause lower back sprains, herniated discs, or other orthopedic injuries related to carrying something heavy. Lift with your legs–not your back. There’s no shame in asking someone stronger to carry your suitcases for you.
Do Not Fall
Reaching for something on a high shelf? Don’t over-stretch your back or shoulder or use a tipsy kitchen chair to climb and retrieve that item. Instead, plan your dishes and cooking gear ahead of the big day, and use a sturdy step ladder to get them.
Also, if you add to or change your usual furniture arrangement in living and dining areas, don’t overcrowd the spaces. Avoid turning and tripping, which lead to falls that can cause a myriad of orthopedic injuries, including sprains.
Finally, wear good shoes as you do your holiday prep. Your feet will thank you for sensibly-heeled, well-supported flats and sneakers. Put on your fancy shoes once most of your work is done and your guests start to arrive. Ankle sprains are one of the more frequent and mobility-limiting bone and joint injuries.
Warm-up those shoulders, back, and legs
If you wish to engage in that backyard football game this Thanksgiving, be sure to warm-up those major joints ahead of time. Stretch, go for a brisk walk, and move your shoulders and arms to get the blood circulating.
In fact, stay in condition year-round with mild aerobic exercising. Your orthopedic surgery and sports medicine specialists in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda FL, highly recommend walking, cycling, and swimming as joint- and heart-friendly ways to keep in good condition and to avoid surprise sprains, strains, and fractures.
Your Comprehensive Orthopedic Team in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda FL
At Advanced Orthopedic Center, we want you to enjoy the coming holiday season to the fullest. Just know that our highly qualified orthopedic surgeons and their support staff are here to provide the advice, evaluation, and treatment you need for healthy, pain-free bones and joints.
We combine technical expertise, experience, and patient-centered care at our Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda locations. Call us today for a consultation: (941) 629-6262, or use our online appointment request form.