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Why Your Holiday Party Increases Your Injury Risk

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The Christmas season comes with fun-filled occasions like office parties and family gatherings. But did you know your holiday party could make you more prone to injury?

These events usually involve seasonal comfort foods, alcohol, dancing and late nights . . .  followed by a day of sitting around because it’s “too cold” to be outside.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that at all, I enjoy spending time with loved ones and making the most of the season.  But, a Sunday morning run swapped for sleeping in after a late night full of wine and dancing can leave you waking up to feel very sore and stiff the next day.

The big culprits . . . Booze and Shoes, but there are a few other factors too.  So let’s talk about what could be making you more prone to injury this time of year and how to limit the impact a late night Christmas party can have on you the next day.  

The effects of alcohol . . . 

Most people don’t realize how dehydrated our body can get after drinking alcohol.  For example, if your Christmas party is Thursday night, and you drank “a little too much”, your body will still be crying for fluids on Sunday.  Unfortunately, when your body is dehydrated, it makes your muscles more prone to being pulled because they’re more tight than usual. So, slow down on the drinks or have a large glass of water between drinks.

The effects of sugar and sweets . . . 

We all have our favorites around the holidays, and I’m not going to tell you not to indulge.  The problem arises when we graze on the sweets all evening and end up consuming much more than we planned.  The problem with the cakes and cookies is that the sugar causes inflammation in the body.  Many of us will wake up with stiff and swollen joints as a result. Make sure you are eating veggies and healthy fats to balance out your blood sugar and counteract inflammation. 

The effect of late nights . . .

First of all, after a late night out you are less likely to wake up for your morning run or take the time to warm up at the gym.  In addition, sleep is the time our body uses to repair our muscles from our last workout.  If you skimp on sleep, that hamstring muscle that acts up occasionally is more likely to “ping” or “pop” and cause an actual injury instead of just a nuisance.  

The effect of high heel shoes . . .

We all want to look cute at the Christmas party . . . I get it.  But, we do need to be aware of how our shoes are affecting our body. High heels increase the pressure on our back by about 25 times. In addition, they can alter the way we walk and lead to bad posture – which causes back pain.  I’m not saying we have to avoid high heels completely. Choose a more cushioned pair, one with a lower heel, or opt to wear them for only part of the night.  

Awareness is the first step to preventing any problem.  So, let’s find some solutions to these common holiday problems and prevent injuries this season. We want to enjoy this time with family and friends, instead of on the couch on a heating pad.  

If you need additional advise on preventing injuries or how to decrease aches and pains so you enjoy that next holiday party more . . . Request a FREE phone consultation. One of our Doctor’s of Physical Therapy will set aside time to discuss your concerns and help you decide on the next best step. 

If your back or joint pain is affecting your work lifeyour ability to keep active, threatens your independence or hinders family time… then you really need to make this call and not waste a second of your holiday in pain. Click the link below to schedule.