Avoid injury while traveling this holiday season

 

November 13, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic surgeons

Avoid injury while traveling this holiday season

The holidays are approaching, and if people are planning on traveling far distances, they should be aware of the injuries that can result from carrying heavy luggage.

Orthopaedic surgeons see many patients with tense shoulders or pains that affect the neck and back around this time of year. In 2011, there were more than 59,000 luggage-related injuries seen in emergency departments, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than 43 percent of these mishaps were sprains and strains, and 44 percent affected the back.

"Back pain is very common and affects millions of Americans," said orthopaedic surgeon Brett Taylor, M.D. "While there are many reasons for back pain, twisting or lifting improperly can be a major cause. For that reason it's important to know what to do and what not to do while traveling with heavy bags or luggage."

Travelers should practice proper injury prevention by choosing the right luggage, packing lightly and lifting properly. Individuals should also make sure that they're correctly carrying their backpacks and luggage. For example, bending at the knees when lifting luggage and not twisting decrease a person's chances of getting hurt, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.


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