By Lynne Midwinter, Chartered Physiotherapist


How do you manage to do all the shopping, cook the turkey and survive the in-laws without injuring yourself in the process?


The run up to Christmas is fraught with difficulties – presents to buy, decorations to hang, cards to write and a million and one things to organise.  Then over the holiday period most of us eat too much and then slouch in front of the television to watch the James Bond film for the 10th time!  All of this can cause strains and sprains in even the fittest of us and often at Physio & Therapies we treat a number of people between Christmas and New Year with injuries caused by Christmas activities, or more often, inactivity!

To help you prevent problems we have compiled a list of our top tips for a pain-free Christmas and a Happy New Year:-


  • When hanging decorations, use a ladder to prevent over stretching or the other dangers of climbing on the furniture.
  • Write your Christmas cards in small batches and sit at a table to do them – this will prevent neck strain.
  • Break shopping trips into manageable chunks instead of doing it all in the last few days and balance your loads by carrying bags in both hands or use a shopping trolley or a backpack.
  • Buy presents locally – lots of the retailers will arrange delivery of bulky or heavy items and the compact nature of our local towns mean you can make regular trips back to the car to off-load bags to avoid carrying too much.
  • Enlist help from your family wherever possible.
  • Lifting a 20lb turkey out of the oven can strain your back, so consider buying a smaller bird – it will also save eating turkey sandwiches for days after too!  If there are only a few of you, consider buying a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey.
  • When getting hot roasting dishes out of the oven wear protective gloves and an apron, that way you can hold them closer to your body without burning yourself.
  • Resist the temptation to slouch on the sofa after your lunch – go for a stroll, or take the kids to the park but if it’s icy, wear sturdy shoes with cushioned and good traction soles to prevent slipping.
  • Remember that apart from the Bank holidays, Todmorden leisure centre is open from 10am – 4pm through the festive period, so get some exercise instead of going to the post Christmas sales!
  • Don’t spend hours slumped over the computer or games console playing the latest game – take regular breaks or, preferably, do something more active instead!


So here’s to a relaxing and energising Christmas – but if you do injure yourself remember we are open on the Wednesday after Christmas to get you fit in time to celebrate the New Year!

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