a person on a ladder hanging holiday lights

Common Orthopedic Injuries During the Holidays

For many of us, the holidays can be an especially busy time in our lives. The increase in physical movement as we hop from store to store or gathering to gathering, accompanied by colder weather and its impact on our joints, can be a perfect storm leading to injury. Emergency rooms and Urgent Care Centers across the country see an increase in orthopedic injuries over the holidays.

So, what sort of injuries are most common during the holidays and how can you avoid them? Read below for more information:


Whether it's stringing lights inside and outside the home, putting up the Christmas tree, cleaning up around the house, raking leaves or shoveling snow, the risk for injury is present. Holiday activities that include the use of a ladder or that require you to face the outdoor elements may increase your risk of falling. In particular, a top cause of orthopedic injuries during the holidays is falling from a ladder, so cautious when using one and be sure to have a friend or family member spot you for safety. Additionally, moving around in the ice and rain may result in a slip and fall, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear and move cautiously if you're unsure what's underfoot. You could easily lose your footing and fall, which can result in a hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, arm, and wrist fracture.


Winter brings with it a wealth of exciting outdoor activities including ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, etc. These snow-centric activities are what memories are made of! Unfortunately, they may also carry with them a higher risk of injury. A slip on ice can result in an injury to the hip, knee, ankle or foot. A fall during skiing may result in a hand or wrist injury or, more commonly, "skier's thumb," where the thumb is bent so far back that it results in a ligament tear. Outside of winter sports, snowfall and melted snow can also produce slippery conditions which can result in slips and falls.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries can result from a variety of injuries, but in the winter, the most common source is from shoveling snow. At minimum, over-exertion from snow shoveling can result in generalized aches and pains. However, if you find yourself shoveling for many hours at a time, you may develop something more serious like a rotator cuff injury or back injury. Additionally, forgetting to bend your knees when shoveling may result in pressure on your lower back and arms, causing injury to those areas as well.

Common orthopedic injuries during the holidays can be prevented. If you find yourself in need of Orthopedic care, call us at Proliance Orthopedic Associates for high quality, comprehensive care.