Prevent DIY Injuries during COVID-19 and the Holidays

Prevent DIY Injuries during COVID-19 and the Holidays

The holiday season is usually the time of year when many of us are shopping for gifts, decorating, attending parties, hosting family or friends and getting our homes ready to celebrate the season and upcoming New Year. Except this year is different than any year we’ve ever had.

Much of this country’s workforce has transitioned to working remotely, and this has led to a rash of back, neck, shoulder and other injuries, aches and pains due to makeshift workstations that are not ergonomically correct. There have also been injuries due to do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that, until the pandemic, we never had time to start or complete. 

Add to the mix that with social distancing, more of us will be sitting on the floor wrapping gifts by ourselves and doing more on our own without any help. Raking leaves and bagging them on our own! Shoveling snow on our own! So much to do with so little help!

Whether it’s a DIY project, decorating, gift wrapping, sitting improperly at your dining room table hovering over your laptop during a Zoom meeting, there are things you can do to try to prevent injury.


A big contributing factor to quarantine injuries is a lack of planning, and we are not talking about how much paint to buy for that kitchen project!  Any time we plan on a strenuous physical task we need to plan our warm-up and body mechanics.  A professional athlete does not go on the court or field without a warm-up and you should not be shoveling heavy snow or climbing up the ladder to put up holiday decorations without first preparing for it.

  • The basics are important:  Remember to be adequately hydrated and have all appropriate safety equipment in place (ex. goggles, gloves, etc.).
  • Next, we need to get the body moving.  It is wise to consider your problem areas:  Are your hamstrings always tight?  Do you tend to have back pain?  Target your stretching and activity to those areas. Stretching helps to reduce injury rate but remember than in most cases a light stretching regimen is adequate.  Remember that stretching should be just that – stretching – and not super painful!
  • Finally, consider some light cardiovascular activity such as a walk prior to starting your task.


Trinity Rehab has a clinic near you and any of our Physical Therapists can be a huge help in developing an appropriate stretching program and work on appropriate lifting/moving mechanics.  The first goal would be to complete a movement assessment to determine problem areas due to tightness, weakness, coordination, or some combination of those.  Your PT can review types of stretching that might be appropriate for you and progress you through a strengthening program aimed at helping you tackle those DIY projects or keeping your back and neck healthy while you hover over your makeshift desk.  If you already have pushed the envelope a bit too far, we can be a great resource for recovery and rehabilitation!

Have a safe and healthy holiday season!


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