If you’re following the CDC guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19, you’re staying home as much as possible. Many people are using this time at home to get some projects done around the house. Not only do we have more time to notice things we want to fix, but these projects can also help us feel productive when we can’t get out and about. While checking things off of your home improvement list is gratifying, you have to watch out for common household injuries.
Common Household Injuries to Avoid
Some people are finally cleaning out their garage. Others are making long-needed repairs. And some people are just tired of looking at the same thing day after day and undertaking redecorating projects. All of these activities have the potential to cause common household injuries.
1. Sprains & Strains
Sprains and strains are both common orthopedic injuries. Sprains are injuries to ligaments. Strains are injuries to muscles or tendons. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the areas of the body that are most vulnerable to sprains are the ankles knees and wrists. The areas most vulnerable to strains are the back and the leg.
Fractures are common household injuries that can occur during the impact from a fall. Wrist fractures are one of the most common fractures caused by landing after a fall. Other common fractures include ankle fractures, collarbone fractures, leg fractures, and forearm fractures.
While these injuries are often associated with sports, it is possible to tear cartilage or a ligament doing things around the house. Repetitive motion is usually the culprit in these injuries which occur from damage to tissues in the joint. Tears can affect any of the joints in the body. Common tear injuries include:
- Meniscus tear
- ACL tear
- Rotator cuff tear
Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. It can be caused by overuse or an acute injury. It can occur in many joints including the knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. Examples of tendonitis include:
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Jumper’s knee
- Swimmer’s shoulder
- Pitcher’s shoulder
Joints can be dislocated during a fall. Shoulders are the most common joints to dislocate, but it can also happen to fingers, elbows, ankles, knees, hips, and the jaw.
Tips to Prevent Injury at Home
You can prevent common household injuries in many ways. Find out how you can prevent injuries due to falling, lifting, and overuse below.
A large number of common household injuries are caused by falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury.
- Use non-skid rubber mats or pads to ensure rugs are secure
- Secure all electrical cords away from places that get foot traffic
- Manage clutter to ensure there’s a clear path through rooms
- Use caution when descending the stairs and use the handrail
- Get a non-skid rubber mat for the shower floor if it’s slippery
- Install and use grab bars in showers and bathtubs, especially if kids use them
- Get your eyes checked to make sure you can see everything clearly
- Always stabilize ladders and don’t climb too high. Most ladders will have a warning on the last rung that it is safe to climb. Get someone to spot you if possible.
- Don’t use chairs or other objects to climb on. Use a stable ladder or step stool.
Preventing Lifting Injuries
- Avoid lifting heavy objects when possible.
- Ask for help and do a team lift
- Use a cart or a dolly to move heavy objects
- If you do lift something, do not lift with your back muscles, use your legs.
Preventing Other Injuries
- If you have a hobby that requires repetitive motion (exercising, playing certain sports, doing projects around the house), warm-up beforehand and take breaks to avoid overuse.
- Use caution when doing chores that require scrubbing or sanding. Take breaks and stretch to avoid shoulder pain.
Consult an Orthopedic Specialist
The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions, including common household injuries. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.