The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and spending quality time with loved ones. However, for individuals with orthopedic conditions, this time of year can also bring about challenges and discomfort. It is important to approach the holiday hustle and bustle with caution and take steps to protect our bodies. Here are some tips to help you navigate the holiday season while managing orthopedic conditions.
1. Plan and Pace Yourself
One of the keys to successfully navigating the holiday season with orthopedic conditions is planning. Take some time to create a schedule and prioritize your activities. By pacing yourself and avoiding excessive exertion, you can distribute your tasks over multiple days or weeks. This approach will not only prevent unnecessary strain on your body but also reduce the likelihood of experiencing flare-ups.
Tip: To avoid crowds, plan your holiday shopping during off-peak hours. Also, remember to download the HURT App in case of an injury.
2. Use Assistive Devices
If you require assistive devices such as crutches, canes, or walkers, make sure they are in good working condition before the holiday season begins. Check for any wear and tear, and replace or repair them if necessary. Using these devices properly can provide stability and support, reducing the strain on your muscles and joints.
Tip: Regularly inspecting and maintaining your assistive devices will help prevent any accidents or discomfort during the holiday season, especially during inclement weather.
3. Practice Good Body Mechanics
When engaging in activities such as decorating, cooking, or gift-wrapping, it is essential to practice good body mechanics. Maintain proper posture, lift objects correctly using your legs instead of your back, and avoid repetitive motions that can exacerbate your condition. Take frequent breaks and listen to your body's signals to avoid pushing yourself too hard.
Tip: When engaging in activities such as decorating, cooking, or gift-wrapping, remember to use tools and equipment that can help reduce strain on your body. For example, when lifting heavy objects, consider using a dolly or asking for assistance.
4. Modify Activities
Don't be afraid to modify activities to suit your needs. If standing for long periods is challenging, consider using a stool or chair to provide intermittent rest. If lifting heavy objects is problematic, ask for assistance or use alternative methods such as sliding or rolling items instead. By adapting activities to accommodate your condition, you can still participate in the holiday festivities without causing unnecessary strain.
Tip: Remember to listen to your body and take breaks when necessary. Pace yourself throughout the day and prioritize rest to avoid overexertion. Instead of decorating your house for the holidays all at once, consider spreading out the decorations throughout the week.
5. Prioritize Self-Care
Amidst the holiday chaos, it is crucial to prioritize self-care. Make time for rest, engage in gentle exercises or stretches recommended by your healthcare provider, and ensure you are getting adequate sleep. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally will help manage your orthopedic condition and allow you to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest.
Tip: During the holidays, stress can reach its peak, especially with the presence of family and friends. Remember to carve out time for relaxation and activities that bring you joy to maintain a healthy balance and keep stress at bay.
6. Seek Support
Don't hesitate to reach out for support when needed, especially during the holiday season. OrthoCarolina offers a range of services to help you stay healthy and prevent orthopedic issues. Schedule preventative orthopedic visits and preventative physical therapy sessions to ensure your body is in optimal condition. If you suspect you may need orthopedic care, the HURT app can guide you and provide information on where to start. Additionally, for acute ortho injuries, you can visit our OUC locations page for immediate assistance. Surrounding yourself with our supportive team will make a significant difference during the holidays.
Tip: If walking, standing for long periods, or other holiday activities are exacerbating your orthopedic conditions, it's a fantastic idea to seek assistance from others or hire help for your holiday preparations.
The holiday season should be a time of joy and celebration for everyone, including those with orthopedic conditions. By planning, using assistive devices, practicing good body mechanics, modifying activities, prioritizing self-care, and seeking support, you can successfully navigate the holiday hustle and bustle while managing your condition. Remember to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and enjoy the festivities in a way that is safe and comfortable for you.
This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you are seeking specific orthopedic advice or assistance, please consult with your OrthoCarolina physician or locate one in your area through OrthoCarolina’s website at www.OrthoCarolina.com.