How to Avoid Back Pain During the Holidays

A University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston doctor says 80 percent of the population will have back pain at some point in life.

(Published Monday, Dec. 4, 2017)

A University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston doctor says 80 percent of the population will have back pain at some point in life.

Activities like hanging Christmas lights and lifting heavy luggage make the holidays a treacherous time when you can injure your spine.

Domino's Pizza is tweaking its home delivery service for those times you're not at home.
After years of delivery right to your doorstep, Domino's drivers will now deliver to outdoor locations.
That includes beaches, parks, landmarks, and other outdoor locations across the country.
Domino's says its drivers will deliver to 150-thousand locations from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, to the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.
The locations are now active and show up in the company's app or website as "Domino's Hotspots."
Customers pre-pay for their orders, select a location, and your pizza is on the way.
Previously, Domino's delivered to offbeat locations, but, the new service sets up designated drop off points.
The service was tested last fall in Miami before being rolled out nationwide.

(Published Monday, April 16, 2018)

Dr. Shah Dodwad at Memorial Hermann Orthopedic and Spine Hospital says the most common injuries happen when people fall from ladders or strain when lifting boxes and suitcases. However, he says pain can frequently happen doing almost anything you aren’t used to: sleeping in a guest bed, standing a long time or picking up a kid who grew in the last year.

"It's just about proper mechanics when you want to lift up a kid. If you bend at your hips, and left them straight up, that can create a problem versus bending down, keeping your spine in an upright, vertical alignment and bending down in your knees and then picking them up from that standpoint," Dodwad said,

The core is key to preventing back pain.

"Core muscles in the belly and the back is the biggest thing to try and prevent these things from happening. Because the stronger your muscles are, the stronger your core, the less likely you are to have these types of injuries," he explained.

Canadian lawmakers wore hockey jerseys on Monday to honor the victims and their families of that tragic bus crash in Canada that killed 16 people.
The bus was carrying the junior league Humboldt hockey team to a game when a tractor-trailer slammed into the bus.
Sixteen were killed and thirteen people were injured in the crash.
Today's remembrance was one of a number of events that honored the team and their families.
Earlier the lawmakers honored Rusty Staub, a major leaguer who played for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets.

(Published Monday, April 16, 2018)

Since Dodwad said your core strength is crucial in preventing back pain, also remember holiday weight gain can hurt your back, too.

Gerald Malloy, who had spine surgery two months ago, said he's learning ways to make sure his back pain never returns.

"Learning therapy how to do stuff that you say, 'Wow I should have learned how to do that years ago,'" Malloy said. "You squat down, you get it and your ease up with it. If it's too heavy, get help. I'm going to do it the right way this year."

Malloy said another simple exercise that helped him get back to normal life is practicing good posture with everyday tasks like driving. He also does physical therapy to strengthen his core and quads.

Storms in Pennsylvania caused heavy damage to a large apartment building, leaving dozens without a place to live.
Residents of Luther Wood Apartments in Scranton have been evacuated after wind ripped the roof off the building. 
It happened just before 6 a.m. Monday.
As of 11 a.m., Scranton fire officials say 90-people have been evacuated from the building, and another 35 may be forced to leave.
A shelter is being set up to help the residents of the senior apartment complex.
No word on any injuries.

(Published Monday, April 16, 2018)

If it's too late, ice and heat can help with most injuries. The main treatment is anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen.