5 Surprising Ways People Injure Themselves over the Holiday Season (And how to avoid it)

Cup of tea from an Oakville foot clinic offering orthotics and footcare by a chiropodist

When seasons change, so do habits and activities. At our Oakville Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy and Foot Care Clinic, this is often a time when we see patterns in aches and pains and injuries. The Oakville Santa Clause Parade and tree lighting this past weekend (as well as a few flurries), are a sure sign of this change in seasons. During this time we tend to see
people come in to access our services for similar and some surprising reasons. Sometimes there is a sudden moment when it’s clear we’ve injured ourselves with a sudden fall or twist or something can bother us gradually over time with new challenges and overload to tissues. Even the Chiropodist (foot specialist) sees seasonal related issues. These seasonal foot care changes are from such things as changes in footwear being linked to plantar fasciitis, improperly fitting ski and snow boarding boots leading to toenail issues, or an increase in diabetic skin and foot complications from footwear changes that result in changes in weight bearing pressures on the foot surface.

Here are some frequent culprits in winter seasonal injuries that we see and some advice in how to manage and avoid these injuries:
  1. Winter / Snow Tires – In people’s haste to put on snow tires to help stay safe over the winter and increase traction on slippery roads we aren’t always as careful when we’re transferring the from storage and the car. Click Here for lifting tips to help this process go more smoothly.
  2. Ski & Snowboarding Weekends and Holidays–  While winter in Oakville seems to
    last forever sometimes, there are only so many weekends. Because of this many people rush to the hills for long weekends or longer vacation times and try to take advantage and spend as much time as they can on the slopes. We see a variety of ski and snowboarding related injuries from broken wrists, to sprained knees to flairs of osteoarthritis. There are some common threads to the cause that includes risk taking behaviours as well as doing too much when yoWeights and barbell training from Oakville Physiou’re not prepared regarding fitness. Fatigue and lower fitness is a risk as your muscles are not absorbing force  or responding as readily. It’s important to prepare your body for what you will be asking of it. This includes leg, hips, and core strengthening and endurance. A Physiotherapist can help you with a few focused exercises to help you reach these goals.
  3. Adventures on Cooking – At this time of the year many of us are hosting family and friends to meals together. At our Oakville Clinic we’ve seen people for massage simply to help after the rush is over to help with stress relief as well as for sore muscles. Rushing to get things completed can lead to accidents with knives or even forgetting our form when lifting (for example putting a frozen turkey into the freezer). Take care with cutting, slicing, and lifting. If you’re short for time or something is too heavy, delegate or ask for help.
  4. Marathons…of Cleaning – When he have more visitors and guests in our homes we tend to want things extra spotless before their visits, have more tasks to do while they’re over, and have more cleanup when they’re gone. Take care to pace yourself before people are over and work from the most pressing tasks to the least important. Use good form with heavier tasks and be mindful with repetitive movements to interchange tasks. General fitness and strength also helps with these types of tasks – when you have a good baseline level of strength certain tasks aren’t as much of a stretch for a person.
  5. Shopping Expeditions – Black Friday Shopping, Boxing Day Shopping, and Christmas Shopping oh my! Standing in lines and “pounding the pavement” in mall and shopping centres can reap havoc on our feet. Our Oakville Chiopodist often sees people with sore feet and plantar fasciitis from these trips. Wear proper footwear to help not only your feet, but also your knees and backs. A Chiropodist can help discuss what shoe is best for your particular foot. Maybe you can find some deals this black Friday and boxing day to help renew your foot wardroIce showing how to treat an acute injury in a physio and massage clinicbe and keep your feet healthy. While you “shop ’til you drop”, it’s also important to remember your lifting rules; Don’t overload yourself with heavy bags, Ask for help
    with larger items, or pull the car closer, Drop off bags into the car and put them in the trunk, Carry equal weight on both sides.
  6. Honourable Mention: Snow Shoveling. Injuring the back while snow shoveling seems to be one of the more common things we see in the winter. Click Here to access some tips to help with snow removal this winter.


If you experience any of the above issues or would like help from our Oakville health professionals in preventing these issues, our Physios, Massage Therapists and Chiropodist can help! We offer Massage Therapy, hands-on Physiotherapy and Chiropody to the Oakville, Burlington and Milton areas. Please call (905) 582-9700 to book an appointment or visit www.palermophysio.ca.