All of us at FROC would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

2017 will mark our 20th year in Forest Row. We appreciate your continued support, without your pain we would be nothing.

Read on for some seasonal maladies!

 

SWEEPING LEAVES

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission over 12 000 Americans were treated for injuries relating to leaf raking in a single year.

Here are some tips:

  1. Before you even get the rake out of the shed you must warm up. Go for a 10 minute walk, this will get your heart rate up and make your body work more efficiently.
  2. Try and bend your knees, not your back.
  3. Avoid twisting your body by using your legs to move you around.
  4. Vary your technique. Start by raking on one side then after a few minutes switch to the other side.
  5. Take breaks, this is an aerobic activity and even people with a moderate level of fitness will find this task demanding.

 

WRAPPING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

Ok, some of you will be very organised and have all this done and dusted by bonfire night, but for the rest of us it’s all going to be at the last minute. Grown men (me included) will be dragged from the sofa, down on to the floor. Disappointment will quickly set in when you are told you have to wrap an object that can’t be wrapped.

Try to avoid wrapping on the floor. Whether you are kneeling or sitting it causes excessive forward bending of the lower back. You have  to remember by this stage you’ll be running on empty, too many late nights, lots of stress, immune system crashing, your body will be very vulnerable about NOW!

Worse still is sitting on the sofa and leaning forward onto the coffee table, guaranteed business for us! First of all your sitting, which creates downward force on your intervertebral discs, then your leaning forward which pushes all the the contents of your disc backwards. This is why we get back pain.

If you can’t get out of wrapping presents then try to wrap when standing. Someone gave us a novel idea of wrapping on an ironing board, which is height adjustable, genius! If you have the space, the kitchen work top is perfect. A close second would be wrapping on the kitchen table. Be sure to keep your knees slightly bent to prevent excessive forward bending.

 

SNOW CLEARING

We all dream of of a white Christmas. The likelihood is a mild and damp day but at some point you may need to shift the white stuff. Here are few tips:

  1. Like raking leaves, you need to warm up.
  2. Use a small lightweight plastic shovel. This will reduce the weight and the amount of snow you shift at a time.
  3. Push the snow to one side like a plough, rather than trying to lift it up.
  4. If you feel compelled to lift it then keep the shovel as close to your body as possible. Try not to twist, instead use your legs to to turn your body.
  5. Again, pace yourself, snow is heavy stuff. 

A new 17-year study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (20th Jan 2011) details the most common health hazards associated with shovelling snow. They found the most common injuries were bad backs, broken bones, head injuries and even heart problems.

The research team looked at snow shovelling injuries and medical emergencies in the U.S. from 1990 to 2006 using information from a national database. During that time, about 195,000 people in the U.S. were treated in a hospital emergency room for a snow shovelling injury.

Luckily for us we don’t live there!

See you in 2017!