In this seasonal blog, we look at the causes and how to prevent holiday injuries.





The holiday season, especially Christmas, sees our streets and homes illuminated with lights, ornaments, and festive cheer. While the merriment is infectious, another side to this joyous occasion is the high rate of holiday-related injuries.





Holiday Injury Statistics





The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.gov) highlights that over 18,000 Americans annually find themselves in the ER due to injuries caused by Christmas decor. In one ten-year span, Christmas decorations sent an alarming 134,281 people to the emergency departments.





What’s the trend in holiday injuries?





Males account for 58% of all holiday injuries. It's interesting to note that men, more frequently than women, were injured while using ladders. This stat hints at men being more involved in hanging higher-placed decorations or less cautious when climbing. Another contributor to holiday injury is slips or falls on ice or muscle strain from shoveling snow.





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It's crucial to be aware of the risk factors to prevent holiday injuries. Especially falls, which lead the charts during this time of year. Let’s take a look at both holiday decorating accidents and weather-related falls.





Decorating Injuries





Making our homes look festive sometimes comes with unexpected costs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that 160 decorating-related injuries happen daily during the holiday season in the U.S. Almost 50% of these accidents are falls resulting in concussions, broken bones, and strained muscles.





To prevent holiday injuries while decorating:






  • Inspect your ladder for any defects.




  • Ensure you're working with others when on a ladder.




  • Follow guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, like moving the ladder's base a foot away from the wall for every four feet of height.





The holidays also mean heavy lifting - from packages to groceries. Heavy lifting can lead to strained backs and necks. A preventive measure is to lift using your legs, not overextending yourself, and ensure that online shopping doesn't strain your neck. (Can looking at your phone or computer cause neck pain? Yes! Read a blog from our resource library.)





It's alarming to read actual cases that require emergency medical attention. Here are just a few tracked by Cannon Law. The law firm researched accidents caused by holiday decorating…is it truth or fiction that Americans are injured while decorating their homes for the holiday season? It's true, and here is a quote: 





“An 83-year-old woman who tripped over a Christmas train, hitting her head on concrete. Other instances include rib fractures from falls while decorating and foot fractures from accidents involving Christmas trees.”





It emphasizes the need for safety and, for those who face injuries, the Importance of Fall Prevention, which can be explored in detail in this blog from The Therapy Network.





Snow and Ice Cause Holiday Injuries





The winter wonderland can quickly turn into a slippery hazard. Holiday celebrations should be free of trips to the hospital due to falls on icy surfaces. Adding to this, the season's euphoria, with a mix of alcohol, fatigue, and boisterous children, can make homes accident-prone, especially on stairs.









Keeping stairs clutter-free, having adequate lighting, and eliminating tripping hazards can significantly prevent holiday injuries. Physical therapy may play a positive role in your recovery if you do fall.





Physical therapy plays a pivotal role after a fall on ice by:






  • Reducing pain through specialized treatments.




  • Restoring lost function and mobility.




  • Educating on fall prevention, ensuring the safety of the individual in icy conditions.





How can physical therapy help in your recovery from a holiday accident? To find out, read about The Therapy Network.





The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia





At The Therapy Network, we prioritize our patients. With six clinics spread across Hampton Roads, we offer flexible timings, accommodating appointments as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m.





Our therapists specialize in their fields, with each clinic boasting McKenzie-trained professionals. Appointments can be made effortlessly, even without a physician's referral, often available on the same day. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit here.





To understand how physical therapy can enhance daily life, especially during the holiday season, look at our blog on Physical Therapy Improving Daily Life.  





Remember, staying informed is the first step to prevent holiday injuries. Stay safe and enjoy the festivities!



Did you know that with every passing second, an older adult in the U.S. becomes another statistic, facing a fall that may lead to severe injury or worse?





Fall prevention extends beyond mere statistics; it affects lives and the quality of life for countless individuals, especially our senior citizens.





The leading causes of hospital visits for those aged 65+ are falls, with an astounding 90% of injury-related ER visits attributed to them. The grave figures don't end there. A shocking 95% of hip fractures and many traumatic brain injuries stem from falls.





These stats underscore the paramount importance of fall prevention. But there's hope – with physical therapy's aid, prevention and recovery from fall-induced injuries become a reality.





Keep reading for further information on how The Therapy Network can help you prevent falls in your home.





Most Common Fall Hotspots Around the Home





Knowing where you're most likely to fall is half the battle in fall prevention. Unfortunately, the home, often considered the safest haven, tops the charts as the primary location for falls, especially for older adults.






  • Stairs: Number one risk zone in homes.




  • Bathrooms: Over 23,000 yearly injuries.




  • Gardens: Uneven surfaces can be treacherous.




  • Living Rooms: Often cluttered and overlooked.




  • Driveways and Sidewalks: Cracks and uneven pavements can trip.




  • Bedrooms: Night-time navigation without proper lighting can be hazardous.





As part of your fall prevention plan, download a booklet from the CDC and review the tips for preventing falls in your home.





Gait & Running Analysis




Home Safety: Fall Prevention Tips





Creating a fall-proof environment isn't a Herculean task. We asked the physical therapist at The Therapy Network for some tips for this blog. Here is some actionable advice from the TTN team:






  • De-clutter: Clear hallways, staircases, and rooms of any unnecessary items.




  • Repair Hazards: Address loose carpets, wobbly floorboards, or risky throw rugs.




  • Install Safety Measures: Add grab bars by toilets, handrails in stairways, and nonslip mats in wet zones.




  • Optimum Lighting: Ensure all areas, especially stairways and corridors, are well-lit.




  • Wear Sensible Clothing: Avoid excessively loose clothes that may cause tripping.




  • Shoe Strategy: Wear shoes indoors or opt for nonslip socks.




  • One-Level Living: If feasible, consider living on one level to avoid stairs.




  • Mindful Movement: Always move from sitting to standing with caution, taking a moment to stabilize. A physical therapist can show you the best method to move from sitting to standing.




  • Join Exercise Programs: Engage in exercises that enhance balance and muscle strength. Ask your TTN physical therapist for tips and ideas to improve mobility and flexibility.





How Can The Therapy Network Help?





The prospect of falls shouldn't paralyze you with fear. Instead, arm yourself with preventative measures and guidance from The Therapy Network.





We're never too far with offices in multiple coastal Virginia locations. In 2022, we took a significant leap forward, introducing our specialized Fall Prevention Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Here's the best part: Prevention begins before the accident. At The Therapy Network, we advocate for proactive measures. During your fall prevention visit, anticipate an extensive evaluation:






  • BioSway Testing




  • Berg Testing




  • Tenetti Testing




  • Balance Testing




  • Mobility Testing




  • Vestibular Testing




  • Home Environment Assessment





Begin your fall prevention journey today by scheduling an appointment. Did you know you do not need a physician's referral to schedule a fall prevention appointment at TTN?





Awareness combined with proactive measures can drastically reduce the risks of falls. The Therapy Network is dedicated to empowering everyone with the knowledge and tools needed to make every step safe.





Visit www.TheTherapyNetwork.com for more insights and assistance.


two women walking

Walking is a simple and effective way to improve overall health and fitness. It is a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime, without equipment. Walking is an excellent option whether you are trying to lose weight, reduce stress, or improve your cardiovascular health.





This blog includes tips to help you get the most out of your walking routine. It also has popular local trails to walk your way to health in Hampton Roads, Virginia.





Walking Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle





A walking routine promotes a healthy lifestyle, but it is also essential to follow tips provided by the therapists at The Therapy Network. Here are eight top tips for starting a routine to walk your way to health.





Start Slowly: If you are new to walking or last exercised a while ago, it is essential to start slowly. Begin with a short walk around your neighborhood or local park. As your fitness improves, gradually increase the distance and duration of your walks.





Wear Comfortable Shoes: Invest in a good pair of walking shoes that fit well and provide proper support. Avoid wearing old or worn-out shoes, as they can cause discomfort and increase the risk of injury.





Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your walk, especially if you are walking in the hot or humid conditions in Hampton Roads. Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, and other health problems.









Use Proper Posture: Good posture is essential when walking. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and arms swinging naturally at your sides. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, which can strain your neck, shoulders, and back.





Warm Up and Cool Down: Before starting your walk, warm up by stretching your muscles and gradually increasing your pace. After your walk, cool down by slowing your pace and doing some gentle stretches to help prevent soreness and stiffness.





Stay Safe as You Walk Your Way to Health





From urban areas to country paths and mountain trails, everyone should have a "Stay Safe" plan. Here are some of our top tips for staying safe while walking.





Find a Walking Buddy: Walking with a friend or family member can make your walks more enjoyable and motivate you to stick with your routine. It can also provide a social opportunity to catch up and connect with others.





Vary Your Route: Walking the same route daily may become dull and make it harder to stay motivated. Explore new neighborhoods, parks, or trails to keep your walks interesting and engaging.





Stay Safe: Walking is generally a safe exercise, but it is vital to take precautions to avoid accidents and injuries. Walk in well-lit areas, wear reflective clothing if walking at night, and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking alone in isolated areas.





Set Goals to Walk Your Way to Health





Set Goals: Setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated. Whether walking a certain distance, increasing your speed, or walking more days per week, having a clear plan can help you track your progress and celebrate your achievements. Here is some advice from the Mayo Clinic:





“As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you can't set aside that much time, try several short sessions of activity throughout the day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. Even small amounts of physical activity are helpful, and accumulated activity throughout the day adds up to provide a health benefit.” MayoClinic.org





Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body and how it feels during your walks. If you experience pain or discomfort, slow down or stop and rest. If you have a health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.





Hampton Roads, Virginia, Walking Trails





Here is a list of popular walking trails in Hampton Roads:





For a list of trails across the entire region, check out this website from AllTrails.   This website provides feedback and reviews of each trail. 





For Trails in Hampton Roads, click on these links:









Recommendations for TTN Team Members:









Happy Walking





As you walk your way to health, consider a free wellness check with a physical therapist at The Therapy Network. While browsing our website, sign up for our monthly newsletter with tips to lead a healthy lifestyle. 





In conclusion, walking is a simple and effective way to improve your health and fitness. By following these tips, you can make the most out of your walking routine and achieve your health and fitness goals. Remember to start slowly, wear comfortable shoes, stay hydrated, use proper posture, warm up and cool down, find a walking buddy, vary your route, set goals, listen to your body, and stay safe. Happy walking!





If you are thinking about beginning to walk, a great way to make sure you are prepared is a free wellness check at The Therapy Network. Just request an appointment and note free wellness check.



The consequences of a fall can be dire.  But how many of us consider the consequences and take preventative action?   Fall prevention is a necessity for all of us.  Join us September 18-24, 2022, for Falls Prevention Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness that falls are preventable.