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27 Wed

Thanksgiving is here! Don’t let pain crash the party!

Thanksgiving is here! Don’t let pain crash the party.

 Written by: Matthew Riordian, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS


There is much information out eating healthy on Thanksgiving, but little is discussed about Thanksgiving Day injuries.  Although this is a day set aside to take a breath from the day to day busy routine and relax and give thanks with friends or family, it can often be a very physically demanding day.  Over the years of treating patients, I have noticed a higher rate of reoccurrence of back pain and neck pain as well as a higher rate of falls which can result in injuries during the holidays.  In addition, I’ve noticed a regression of knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and wrist conditions that are currently in treatment.  Below are some of the injuries and activities to watch out for, modify or avoid.

Low Back Strains:

  • Frantic grocery shopping
  • Bending forward and reaching out with a 15 pound turkey
  • Sitting for hours in traffic or on a plane
  • Leaning forward over the kitchen counter or the sink for prolonged periods

Knees and Hips:

  • Hours of shuffling side to side along the kitchen counter while slightly leaning forward (possibly wearing dress shoes or high heels)
  • Pivoting on a set foot, back and forth from the counter to the refrigerator
  • High incidence of falls on holidays from leaving Aunt Martha’s house in the dark with that loose step on her porch
  • Playing football with your nephew who is now much bigger and fasterthan last year

Shoulder Impingements:

  • Repetitive reaching to high cabinets
  • Awkwardly reaching to get that heavy platter that you use only once a year
  • Getting luggage out from the overhead compartment after everything has shifted during that flight back home

Elbow Tendinitis and Wrist Strains:

  • Peeling apples
  • Mashing potatoes
  • Whipping cream
  • Carrying a turkey or heavy dishes

Neck Strain:

  • Leaning forward for hours for preparing the feast
  • Let’s face it, the general stress of the day can really make your neck hurt

So do your best to avoid these strains and the physical demand of a “relaxing” holiday.

From all of us at Professional Physical Therapy & Training, LLC, Happy Thanksgiving!

If pain crashes your holiday, we are here to help you recover.


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