The hidden hazards of Christmas

The hidden hazards of Christmas

Never mind feeling more stuffed than the turkey itself on Christmas Day, the preparations for the festive season can also bring other health hazards.  
Whether it’s a case of ‘Shopping shoulder’, ‘Buyers back’ or ‘Wrappers wrist’ – perhaps more commonly known as shoulder strain, tennis elbow, back pain and repetitive strain, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid unnecessary pain and injury at this time of year.

While back pain is a common ailment associated with the festive season thanks to all the heavy lifting, stretching, bending and standing for long periods, repetitive strain (especially tennis elbow) might not be something that we necessarily connect with Christmas.

But tennis elbow is actually becoming increasingly common.  And despite its name, only five percent of people with the condition have developed it through playing tennis. In fact, the majority get it through day to day repetitive actions.

And for some, the continuous strain on the wrists and arms from wrapping presents, carrying heavy bags and over-stretching to put up the decorations can increase the risk of developing tennis elbow.

So, before you turn your home into Santa’s Workshop, here are five top tips for making sure the wrapping is in safe hands and pain free hands this year:

  1. Make sure to take regular breaks in between wrapping, shopping and all the other festive chores
  2. Keep a good position – use a table rather than sit on the floor bent over to do the wrapping
  3. Get help with lifting heavy or awkward items, and try to balance out weight when carrying heavy bags
  4. Use a ladder or step when putting up decorations to avoid over stretching
  5. Change the way you wrap: if you know that repetitive wrist and arm movements are painful then why not wrap gifts this year in bags or boxes instead of paper?.

And if after all that you are still experiencing pain, then why talk to us in more detail about your symptoms to see if we may be able to help?.


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