BCBS-TX Health Insurance Patients Now Considered at Houston Physicians’ Hospital Effective November 1, 2021

Here at Houston Physicians’ Hospital (HPH) we have always been committed to providing the highest quality health care to our patients at an affordable price.

HPH has continuously provided top-quality care and the highest value to our patients and will continue to do so in the future. We are also one of only three hospitals in the entire Houston area with a 5-Star Rating in Patient Experience from CMS.

To maintain the level of high-quality services patients have come to expect from HPH and to give BCBS-TX patients continued access to our services, we have been negotiating a new contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBS-TX) over the past year. During these negotiations, BCBS-TX temporarily suspended our contractual arrangement with them.

We are sending this letter to inform our patients that we will once again consider patients with BCBS-TX health insurance in-network and will resume billing as such starting November 1, 2021.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to continuing to serve you and your family’s healthcare needs.

Best,

Heather Womack, CEO

Millennial suffering from neck pain

Why Millennials Suffer From Back and Neck Pain

Back pain and neck pain are common problems for a lot of people, but several studies have shown that millennials are more prone to back and neck pain than individuals of previous generations. Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the first generation to grow up with technology such as cellphones and tablet devices and their associated constant connectivity.

It’s no surprise that technology has become a vital part of everyday life for millennials. However, while the long-term effects of intensive technology usage are unknown, some signs are starting to show. Back and neck pain are becoming increasingly common among this well-connected always-online generation.

Continue reading “Why Millennials Suffer From Back and Neck Pain”

Parents And Chronic Joint Pain: 5 Tips for Relieving Pain and Regaining Mobility

As the COVID-19 pandemic reemerges, parents have been struggling to keep their mental and emotional health on track. With schools across Southeast Texas out for the summer, keeping children active, motivated, and encouraged has proven to be more challenging than expected.

According to Time, parents of middle schoolers are especially struggling during the ongoing period of uncertainty and chaos. Create another subset of parents with disabilities and chronic conditions, and the stress increases twofold.

If you’ve been finding it hard to navigate the COVID-19 landscape while tending to your children and suffering from a joint pain condition, you’re not alone.

With over 54 million Americans suffering from chronic joint pain, the likelihood that you’re one of them is pretty high.

We’ve rounded up five tips for relieving joint pain to help you power through the turbulent period and regain your mobility.

1. Distribute Chores Among Your Partner and Children

It’s commons sense that if you experience pain, stop doing what you’re doing. Performing certain tasks that put excessive strain on your joints can exacerbate joint pain, stiffness, and soreness. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Distribute chores among your partner and your children so that you don’t overwork your joint capsule, ligaments, subchondral bone, and synovium.

If you feel pain, take a break or do the lighter chores to reduce stress on your joints i and keep pain at a minimal.

2. Take a Break

Isn’t it obvious? If you can’t remember the last time you took a breather, it may be time to indulge in one. Breaks help you take the stress off your joints so that they can heal—even for just a few minutes.

Sleep is the ultimate break allowing delicate joint structures to heal overnight.

Be sure to allocate a certain amount of time for rest each day. Whether you take a warm bath to relax stiff joints or take a relaxing yoga class, give yourself some time to relieve stress and joint pain.   

3. Incorporate Strengthening Exercises into Your Daily Routine

Strengthening the muscles through exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce joint pain and enhance mobility.

If you’ve been noticing that your range of motion has been restricted lately, do some strength training exercises to improve your mobility.

You can engage your musculoskeletal system by incorporating hamstring curls, calf raises, wall squats, side leg raises, and leg extensions into your routine. Make sure you use good posture to minimize knee strain.

4. Try Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can play a big role in strengthening joints that have been weakened by excessive wear-and-tear, damage, and inflammation.

If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, see your doctor to see if you should work with a board-certified physical therapist to help ease stiffness, swelling, and discomfort. As you follow proper body mechanics, you’ll notice your overall mobility and balance will improve.

Based on the severity of your symptoms, your physical therapy plan may include one or more of the following treatments:

  • Stretches and Exercises
  • Electrical Stimulation or Muscle Stimulation
  • Iontophoresis
  • Ice and Heat Therapy
  • Ultrasound Massage
  • Manual Therapy
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation

5. Consider Joint Surgery

Home remedies, over-the-counter medications, cutting down on stress, and following a strict exercise plan can go a long way in alleviating symptoms. But for more severe conditions joint surgery could be the best way to find long-term relief.

While your condition may vary, in many cases, patients sometimes expect that joint surgery is the best solution, but their doctor will recommend an alternate noninvasive or minimally invasive treatment plan instead.

After examining your symptoms, your doctor and orthopedic specialist can determine the best course of treatment to help you regain optimal joint health. We also offer expert physical therapy servicesknee replacementback surgery, and general surgery.

If you’re suffering from joint pain in Houston, Webster, Galveston, Clear Lake, or League City, visit Houston Physicians’ Hospital, where you’ll find a wide range of custom treatment plans to address chronic joint pain. Browse through our Joint Solutions Center to learn about our approach or find a doctor on our website where you can schedule an appointment directly with his or her office.

orthopedic doctor

These Symptoms mean it’s Time to see an Orthopedic Doctor

For some Clear Lake, Texas, patients, the onset of osteoarthritis is inevitable. However, an orthopedic doctor can help manage pain, relieve symptoms, and help you get back to your normal routine. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know the importance of managing bone conditions like osteoarthritis, so we’ve listed some signs that mean it’s time to visit a medical professional for a treatment plan:

  • You Experience Joint Pain

Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis, and it is typically the primary reason that prompts patients to seek medical attention [1]. Joint pain that is severe enough to restrict daily activities and movement indicate that an orthopedic specialist is needed. Ignoring the problem without a treatment plan can cause more pain over time, as the cartilage wears down and causes bones to rub together.

  • You Have Trouble with Movement

As osteoarthritis progresses, movement becomes more difficult. In fact, the strong association of pain intensity and severity of functional limitation has been well-documented [3] in patients with osteoarthritis. When daily tasks as simple as climbing stairs and bending the knees become extremely painful, it is best to seek the help of an orthopedic specialist.

  • Re-occurring Joint Problems

Joint pain, stiffness, instability and joint space narrowing are major clinical symptoms of osteoarthritis [2]. However, there are symptoms that, when frequent, specifically indicate worsening osteoarthritis. These signs include:

  • Bumps or bony spurs in the joint
  • Locking or buckling of joint
  • Hearing the joint pop or crack while moving

If the associated symptoms last for more than three days and joint problems occur several times during the month, it’s a good sign that you need to schedule an appointment with a medical professional.

Joint pain caused by osteoarthrosis can cause difficulty for many patients. However, with the help of an orthopedic doctor, we can help get you back to a pain-free life. Don’t let osteoarthritis hold you back. Call us at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/contact-us/.

References

1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753584/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18245111/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5240031/

The Top Reasons You Should See a Podiatrist to Treat Your Feet

Many Clear Lake, Texas, residents experience issues with their feet from time to time. A simple pain in the foot can be an indicator of an underlying podiatry issue, and it can be difficult to determine whether a foot problem is severe enough to see a podiatrist. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that patients want to take care of their feet, so we’ve listed a few conditions that may require you to consult a Clear Lake foot specialist.

  • Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail occurs when the corners of your nail (often the nail on your big toe) grow into the skin of the toe. It is the most commonly encountered toenail problem in general practice [1]. Some early symptoms a patient may notice include:

  • Pain when exerting pressure on the toe
  • Build up of fluid around the toe
  • Tender, hard, swollen skin around the nail

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected. Some signs that an ingrown toenail has become infected include a red, swollen, tender toenail that oozes blood.

If you experience any of these symptoms, especially the symptoms of infection, you should see a podiatrist immediately for proper treatment.

  • Flat Feet

Pes Planus, fallen arches, or flat feet are all terms used to describe a foot that doesn’t have an arch on its medial aspect. Typically, this condition is seen in toddlers around 2 or 3 years of age but dissipates as muscles and ligaments tighten. However, some patients find that this condition develops during adulthood.

Flat feet rarely lead to a serious medical issue, but they may create problems with walking, running, or prolonged standing.  Genetic predisposition and increased physical activity are some factors that can increase your susceptibility to develop the condition in adulthood.

For many patients with flat feet, the main question is when to see a podiatrist. You should consult a Clear Lake foot doctor as soon as you notice even slight pain when walking, because research has proved that early detection and management tend to minimize complications of flat feet [2]. Some of these complications can include:

  • Injuries
  • Poor postural stability 
  • Discomfort

After investigating and diagnosing the exact type of condition, your podiatrist will suggest an appropriate treatment plan.

  • Bunions

A bunion is a bony, painful hump composed of extra tissue that appears at the base of the big toe over a period of time. It is one of the most common reasons for pain while walking. Bunions tend to form at the joints gradually, causing pain when walking due to the amount of body weight placed on the area with each step.

While bunions often have a genetic link, poor foot structure may contribute to their formation as well. Additionally, weak muscles may also be one of the factors responsible for its formation [3]. Females are more likely to develop this condition, with 35% of women above 65 years of age affected [3].

An obvious change in shape of the big toe and pain while walking should prompt one to see a podiatrist. Depending on the cause of the bunion, a podiatrist will formulate a proper treatment plan. While surgery is commonly done to alleviate the discomfort associated with a bunion, more conservative options include:

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Shoe inserts
  • Heating pads
  • Soaking the foot in warm water

If you believe your feet are suffering from any of the above-mentioned conditions, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. The specialized podiatrists at Houston Physicians’ Hospital, will help you identify, as well as correct, the problem in no time. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/podiatry/.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25770573

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30844660

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27363573

The Top Orthopedic Tips for Healthy Bones

Every year, 1.5 million individuals suffer a fracture due to bone disease [1]. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest problems associated with bone disease, and it often becomes a chronic burden on residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know that bone diseases can seriously limit the ability of a patient to stick to their daily routine, so we’ve laid out a few tips to help improve the health of your bones:

 

  • Practice Healthy Nutritional Habits

Healthy nutritional habits should be encouraged in order to maintain bone health [2]. Nutrients essential for bone health that patients should add to their diet include vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Without all these nutrients, bones can become brittle, weak, and vulnerable to diseases.

If a patient’s diet lacks calcium, the body begins removing it from bones in a process called bone resorption. This, in turn, drastically weakens the bones. In fact, low calcium levels correlate with increased risk of hip fracture [3].

Similarly, vitamin D is important to absorb the calcium from your diet. Foods that can be added to improve bone health include:

  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Salmon
  • Almonds
  • Green, leafy vegetables

If you are unable to maintain an adequate supply of these nutrients through your diet, it is good to consult a Clear Lake orthopedic doctor for additional supplements that can protect your bones.

 

  • Exercise Regularly

Modest exercise is vital for those wanting to keep their bones healthy. Just 20 minutes of modest-impact activity and resistance training three times per week can improve bone mineral density [4].

Exercises that work your bones and muscles against gravity, also called “weight-bearing exercises,” stimulate the cells that are responsible for forming bone and increasing bone strength. A regular exercise routine can greatly reduce the risk of falls and fall-related fractures by improving body’s balance, coordination, and muscle tone [5].

 

  • Change Certain Lifestyle Factors

While you cannot control every lifestyle factor, there are some that you can change to improve the health of your bones. A good place to start is by examining your posture. Do you slouch or sit up straight? Proper posture distributes your weight evenly, keeping your back straight and pulling the shoulders back.

Additionally, you should check your mattress. Is it lumpy and uncomfortable? Choosing a proper mattress that complements the natural curvature of your spine helps keep your bones supported, thus keeping them in better shape.

Finally, one of the most important lifestyle factors you can change for your bone health is to stop smoking. This is especially important because smoking results in a reduction in bone mass, and nicotine tends to cause inflammation of chondrocytes (cells of cartilage) [6]. To avoid the negative effects of smoking on your bones, it’s best to kick the habit.

Our bone health is determined by hormonal, genetic, and nutritional factors. While not much can be done when it comes to genes, you can certainly zero-in on the modifiable factors to help keep your bones healthy. For the leading orthopedic doctors in the Clear Lake, Texas, area, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/orthopedics/.

 

 

 

 

References

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45515/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330619/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18065599

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14758410

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19421702/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30746895

Why Choose Physical Therapy? 4 Reasons Patients Should See a Physical Therapist

Those in the Clear Lake, Texas, area know the effects that chronic pain or just general wear and tear can have on the body. In many cases, physical therapy is used as a treatment for patients that wish to reduce pain and increase their mobility. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know that physical therapy can be an excellent treatment method for many patients, so we’ve laid out some signs that can help you determine if it’s time for physical therapy from a Clear Lake specialist:

 

  1. Medication has not Worked

Prescription medication designed to reduce pain may be one of the first courses of action your physician recommends. However, medication does not work in every situation. If medication is not working, it may be time for physical therapy. In fact, physical therapy may be the first recommended treatment option for some cases, as there may be patients who are averse to or unable to take pain medication. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association showed that 59.5% of participants refused pain medication due to concerns about side effects and negative reactions (1). If medication has not worked, or you would rather not take a prescription medicine, your physician may recommend physical therapy.

 

  1. Pain Lingers After Activity

In some cases, it’s normal to experience slight lingering pain after completing an activity, especially one that is physically strenuous. Oftentimes, rest and hot/cold therapy helps reduce this pain within a day or two. However, if lingering pain seems to be constant, it may be time to speak to a physician about physical therapy. A medical study conducted between 1994 to 1997 over the effectiveness of physical therapy reported a more than 50% improvement in study participants following physical therapy (2). While physical therapy results vary from patient to patient, it can be determined that, overall, physical therapy is an effective treatment method for those with chronic, lingering pain.

 

  1. You Have a Strained Muscle

Sharp, sudden pain can be an indicator that a muscle strain has occurred. When a muscle strain occurs, physical therapy is often a recommended treatment method. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, physical therapy for strained muscles is typically utilized as the pain and swelling subside (3). Speak with a physician to determine the severity of your muscle strain, and whether physical therapy may be able to help increase the muscle’s range of motion.

 

  1. You Have Recently Been Injured

Those who have recently suffered an injury may benefit from physical therapy as a treatment method. According to South University’s Physical Therapy Assisting program, physical therapy can help rebuild strength and movement following an injury (4). Treatment following an injury is crucial to avoid permanent damage and restore full mobility, so it is important to speak to a physician about the possibility of using physical therapy as a treatment method.

 

For many patients in Clear Lake, Texas, physical therapy can provide a variety of benefits. Houston Physicians’ Hospital offers physical therapy from industry leaders to provide patients with effective pain relief. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/physical-therapy/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525861005006869
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dee_Hartmann/publication/285865657_The_perceived_effectiveness_of_physical_therapy_treatment_on_women_complaining_of_chronic_vulvar_pain_and_diagnosed_with_either_vulvar_vestibulitis_syndrome_or_dysesthetic_vulvodynia/links/585802c208ae64cb3d47d6b3/The-perceived-effectiveness-of-physical-therapy-treatment-on-women-complaining-of-chronic-vulvar-pain-and-diagnosed-with-either-vulvar-vestibulitis-syndrome-or-dysesthetic-vulvodynia.pdf
  3. https://journals.lww.com/jaaos/Citation/1999/07000/Muscle_Strain_Injury__Diagnosis_and_Treatment.6.aspx
  4. http://source.southuniversity.edu/physical-therapy-crucial-to-sports-injury-recovery-59068.aspx

Use This Article to Show Your Spine Some Love

Our spine bears quite a bit of wear and tear throughout our life. It helps us move, supports our weight, and helps us stretch and bend. Over time, the spine can become achy if it’s not properly taken care of. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know that no one wants to deal with a stiff, sore spine, so we’ve listed some ways to show your back some love and prevent pain:

 

  • Be Mindful of Posture

How you hold your body while you move (dynamic posture) and while stationary (static posture) is the single most important aspect you can zero-in on to help prevent spine pain. Poor standing posture is a known cause of pain within the back [1]. Proper posture is key to prevent an aching feeling within the muscles that support the spine. Improving posture often requires re-training the body to sit and stand in positions that place the muscles and ligaments under the lowest amount of stress.

For patients who must sit for long periods of time, such as office workers, being mindful of posture is especially important. To help ensure proper posture:

  • Change your position every 30 minutes.
  • Adjust your chair and desk height so your elbows are on the desk and your shoulders are relaxed.
  • Distribute your weight uniformly on both of the hips.
  • Sit up with your back straight.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor.

 

  • Reach a Healthy Weight

Weight loss in overweight individuals has many benefits, including assuaging back pain. Overweight people tend to be at a greater risk for joint pain, back pain, and muscle strain, when compared to non-overweight individuals [2]. Excess weight places extra burden on the spine, which may cause pain, misalignment of vertebrae, or even osteoarthritis. Overall, excessive weight induces abnormal joint loads, resulting in changes in the composition, properties, and structure of the articular cartilage [3]. Weight loss dramatically reduces the compressive forces through the load-bearing joints. As a result, it reduces joint pain and improves physical function [3].

 

  • Drink Plenty of Water

While it may sound cliché, drinking plenty of water is extremely important to maintain the fluidity and elasticity of joints. There is a particularly strong relationship between inadequate water intake and intervertebral disc pain. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers and protect our back from the damage of daily wear and tear. Enclosed in each disc is a jelly-like substance, which is mainly made of water and collagen fibers. A dehydrated disc loses this jelly-like substance and is not capable of supporting the back. This leads to inflammation, soreness, pain, or even herniated discs. In simple words, the cushioning ability of your spine is greatly dependent on your water intake. Additionally, staying hydrated is especially important for those suffering from any form of arthritis. According to a study, intake of water with increased concentration of molecular hydrogen reduced oxidative stress and caused a significant improvement in the disease activity [4].

 

While these tips can help prevent back pain, it’s important to seek a medical professional if intense stiffness, soreness, or pain occur along your spine. For the leading spine specialists in the Clear Lake, Texas, area, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620 or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/spine-solutions-center/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30562374

[2] http://www.fitwize4kids.com/fp/marketing/1_Research/Statistics_Trends/AOA_FactSheets.pdf

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3623013/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095341/

These Signs mean it’s Time to See an ENT Doctor

Whether it’s a seasonal cold or a bit of lightheadedness, all of us at some point have had issues related to the ear, nose, and throat. Many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area label it as a “stubborn cold” or “exhaustion.” But, some of these common problems can have serious consequences if not addressed. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know how serious an ENT problem can be, so we’ve laid out some signs that let you know it’s time to visit an ENT specialist as soon as possible:

 

  1. Sinus Pain

Hollow spaces in the facial bones that connect to the nose through narrow pathways are known as sinuses. Inflammation of these spaces can lead to sinusitis that can either be acute (lasting less than four weeks) or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks). It is characterized by cloudy nose drainage, along with any one of the following:

  • Nose congestion
  • Heaviness in the head or specifically face
  • A headache
  • Loss of smell (chronic)
  • Thick drainage (chronic)

 

Sinus pain can spread to the face, ear, teeth, and nose. While acute cases resolve with at-home treatments, chronic ones require referral to ENT specialists [2]. Furthermore, urgent referral becomes an absolute necessity in the presence of the following complications:

  • Orbital sepsis
  • Intracranial sepsis

If your symptoms persist for 10 days or more or improve for a short period of time before worsening, it is time to visit an ENT specialist. They will not only identify the exact cause of sinus pain, but also create a treatment plan.

A clinical study researching the efficacy of management strategies concluded that 50% of patients with sinus-headache pain can be benefited from otolaryngic management [2].

 

  1. Tinnitus/ Ringing in Ears

Hearing “phantom noises” like ringing, buzzing, hissing, or clicking in the absence of any external sound is known as tinnitus. While tinnitus isn’t very serious in most cases, it requires immediate attention if it is acquired after an upper respiratory tract infection, doesn’t improve within 10 days, or is accompanied by hearing loss.

If tinnitus becomes severe, it can even lead to disability. According to The College of Family physicians of Canada, tinnitus-related disability claims form the largest fraction of claims submitted to the Workplace Safety and Insurance board [3]. Visiting a Clear Lake ENT specialist when symptoms first occur can help prevent a case of tinnitus from becoming severe.

 

  1. Hoarseness

According to American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, bouts of hoarseness are frequently reported, and almost one-third of the population experiences them at some point in their life [4].

While hoarseness is typically seen as a consequence of common cold, one should not forget that it could be an indication of a serious underlying issue. Typically, it is recommended to manage it conservatively for 4 weeks before referring to an ENT specialist. However, if symptoms become severe, it’s important to seek medical help as quickly as possible.

 

It can be hard to determine whether something is just the common cold or an ENT problem. If you notice severe cases of any of these signs, it’s time to schedule an appoint with one of Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s leading ENT doctors. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620, or visit us at https://www.houstonphysicianshospital.com/ear-nose-and-throat/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Avoid a Spine Injury when Taking Down Holiday Decorations

The holiday season has come to a close, and many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area are ready to begin the task of taking down their holiday decorations. As you begin taking the lights and decorations down, be sure to keep your spine in mind. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand the importance of avoiding a spine injury, so we’ve laid out some tips to help you keep your spine safe when taking down your holiday decorations.

Removing decorations can be physically enervating and dangerous if not done with caution in mind. According to data from CPSC, 2012 alone saw 15,000 injuries as a result of holiday decorations all over the country [1]. That is roughly about 250 injuries a day. Here’s how you can ensure your spine’s safety:

 

  1. Keep Ladder Safety in Mind

According to a study published in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, falls from ladders account for 9% of all fall-induced spinal cord injuries. Also, vertebral injuries are more often found to be associated with falls from ladders and buildings [2].

When removing decorations that require a ladder to reach, make sure you have someone around to help keep your stability, especially if you’re outdoors. Something else to mention, always use a ladder to stand for prolonged periods of time, not a chair or desk. Avoid using damaged or worn out ladders.

Furthermore, it’s better to reposition the ladder if something’s out of reach, instead of over-extending the arms and reaching for it. This prevents falls and sprains resulting from hyperextension of the back.

 

  1. Use Proper Lifting Techniques

Lifting heavy boxes becomes a routine when putting away holiday decorations, but an improper lifting technique can easily result in a spinal injury [3]. Remember two rules, first lift boxes one at a time, taking care to not “bite off more than you can chew.” Essentially, you should keep a check on the weight of boxes and avoid burdening your body with excessive weight.

Secondly, instead of exerting weight on the spine by bending to lift boxes, flex your knees and hips into a squat position to prevent an injury. Additionally, avoid leaning forward or backward when carrying a heavy load.

It’s always advisable to have the weight as close to the body as possible, to keep it stable. Yet another way of protecting your spine is to tighten the stomach muscles, which ensures the spine is in a safe lifting position.

 

  1. Be Vigilant When Removing Electrical Decorations

When removing holiday decorations, make sure you’re well aware of how to handle electrical components because not only can they lead to electrocution, but loose cords can also cause falls that lead to severe spine injuries. Slipping, tripping, and stumbling are the most common causes of fall-induced spinal injuries [2]. Always check for loose wires that could lead to a potentially dangerous fall.

Extension cords should be used with great caution and should be taped to the floor with duct tape or concealed with a cord cover to avoid tripping accidents. Remember to unplug them when not in use and fix them against the wall where they’re clearly visible while you’re working on removing any additional decorations.

 

Spinal injuries shouldn’t be under-estimated. Whether it’s a minor fall or a trip that results in severe back pain, it’s essential to get it investigated by a physician. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, our doctors are here to provide excellent, effective spinal care for residents in the Clear Lake, Texas area. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620.

 

[1] https://www.cpsc.gov/content/%E2%80%9Cdeck-the-halls%E2%80%9D-safely-cpsc-estimates-more-than-15000-holiday-decorating-injuries-during

 

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4725788/

 

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954586/