Whenever an activity involves heavy lifting or repetitive motion, it’s important to take steps to prevent injury. While back pain, carpal tunnel, and sore shoulders are normally associated with work-related injuries, it’s important to note that these issues can also result from working in the kitchen if you’re not careful. With the big feast coming up at the end of the month, here’s a guide to pain-free cooking! Mix It Up Even if you’re “just” chopping carrots or peeling potatoes, you may be exposing yourself to a repetitive strain injury. Standing for long periods with your shoulders hunched forward is also bad for your back. While it’s always important to keep an eye on your posture, the best way to avoid pain and stiffness is to do a mix of activities in short bursts. If you’re cooking with family, consider swapping jobs every six or seven minutes to give your body a break from the same motions and positions. Use Your Tools If you are older or suffer from arthritis, this is an especially important point. Erginomic kitchen utensils are Avoid Injury This Thanksgiving Pain-Free Cooking
available to make many cooking tasks,
from slicing to stirring, easier to handle. Using oven mitts rather than pot holders also lets you grip hot items with greater confidence and reduces the likelihood of an accident. Lifting the Turkey All right, here’s the big one: One of the easiest ways to hurt your back is to lift a heavy object while simultaneously twisting your torso — the exact thing one might do when trying to take a turkey out of the oven in a single fluid motion. Do not put yourself and the feast at risk. Lift with your legs, straighten all the way up, and then turn to where you want to carve it. No one wants to throw their back out before Black Friday. We hope you have a safe and happy start to the holiday season. If any aches or pains develop as the weather gets colder, feel free to swing by and let our physical therapy experts get you moving again!
“My experience at Focus has been nothing short of magnificent. I presented with a partial tear in my left rotator cuff with significant disability — to the point that I feared surgery would be necessary because my shoulder was essentially frozen, and the pain gently impacted my daily activities. Julian worked very closely with me, and gradually, over a period of several months, I began to experience relief from the shoulder and an increase in my range of motion. Julian and all the staff were always very positive and encouraging during my therapy sessions. Julian persevered with a combination of various types of manipulation and stretches until I was able to realize significant improvement. I am extremely grateful to Julian and the rest of the Focus staff for all their efforts. It is a blessing to no longer have to deal with the pain from my shoulder and to have the range of motion that I was without for so long. In conclusion, I want to thank Julian and the Focus staff for allowing me to return to my previous quality of life!” –Louis Alvarez
• Focus Physical Therapy •
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