It’s the time of year when people work hard and play hard, but overexertion in either work or play can lead to pain and long-lasting injuries. Thanksgiving has proven to be an especially accident-prone time of year, because most of us are milling around kitchens stacked with knives and hot foods, drinking alcohol, and participating in athletics or sports. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy this holiday, follow our six tips to avoid these common Thanksgiving aches and pains.
1. Handle Sharp Objects With Care.
It may seem like common sense to be careful with knives, yet knife injuries remain among the top reasons for emergency room visits on Thanksgiving Day. Whether you’re set to carve a 20 pound turkey by yourself or simply helping to dice onions, remember to:
- Eliminate any distractions so you can focus solely on knife-work
- Don’t rush. Cut, carve and slice slowly
- Use the appropriate knife for the job (ask someone else if you’re unsure.)
- Make sure the cutting board cannot slip underneath you
2. Exercise Caution With The Deep-Fryer.
Cooking fires are more common on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Many of these fires occur due to carelessness when deep-frying a turkey. Follow these safety tips if you’ve elected to deep-fry your turkey this year:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully
- Always use the deep-fryer outdoors on an even, non-combustible surface (wooden decks and garages are out.)
- Never leave a deep-fryer unattended
- Keep the deep-fryer out of reach of kids/pets
- Keep an ABC rated fire extinguisher closeby
3. Drink In Moderation.
Holiday stress can lead many people to imbibe more alcohol than they normally would, which is part of the reason why traffic fatalities are an all-too-common occurrence on Thanksgiving Day. The importance of drinking responsibly extends not only to your personal safety, but also to the safety of others.
By moderating how much you (and your loved ones) imbibe and making sure no one drives, you can reduce the likelihood of traffic accidents, as well as falls and trips around the home.
When drinking, it’s important to:
- Be mindful of mixing alcohol with prescription medication
- Make sure no one attempts to drive after drinking
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
4. Lift the Right Way.
Turkeys, casserole dishes, and stacks of dishes necessitate lifting. Lots of it. Too many people continue to make the mistake of lifting with their backs instead of their knees, resulting in upper back and neck pain. When doing heavy lifting, it’s crucial to follow these steps to avoid back pain and injury:
- Spread your feet apart for a wide base
- Get as close as you can to the object you’re lifting
- Bend with the knees, not the waist or back
- Lift slowly
- Do not twist your back
- Once standing, do not bend forward
5. Ease Into Exercise.
Whether it’s a friendly game of football or a 5k race, lots of people decide to jump into some type of physical activity around Thanksgiving, regardless of their fitness level. However, this can lead to injuries for those who haven’t exercised in a long time, don’t warm up, or who have been drinking and are not as coordinated as they’d normally be. To minimize your risk of sports-related injuries, make sure you:
- Do stretches or light cardio to warm the muscles
- Wear appropriate workout/athletic clothes
- Avoid drinking before doing any physical activity
- Wrap up your routine with some more stretches
6. Minimize the Risk of Food Poisoning.
Holiday meal prep often involves cooking poultry, which carries salmonella, the bacteria most often responsible for food poisoning. Make sure you follow these cooking safety tips to avoid getting sick:
- Wash hands immediately after handling raw meat
- Do not use the same utensils/cutting boards for meat and vegetables
- Use a meat thermometer to check that turkey is cooked to at least 160 degrees
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours
If you find yourself injured or in pain this holiday season, the team at Advanced Spinal Care is here to assist you in your recovery journey. Our practitioners are committed to improving the quality of life for all our clients through non-surgical restoration and rejuvenation. We provide a variety of chiropractic, spinal, and physical therapies, including spinal decompression and medical massage. Contact us today for a consultation at one of our offices. We serve patients in two Ohio locations, Cambridge and Coshocton.