What goes up must come down, and an expert at Baylor College of Medicine reminds you that when clearing out the holiday décor this season, be sure to follow the same precautions you did while putting the décor up. Dr. Rubin Bashir, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at BCM, offers important tips to avoid back injuries while putting up and taking down holiday decorations:

  • Bend properly when lifting heavy objects – keep the back straight, use your legs and bend your knees.
  • Don’t bend with a straight leg – it puts stress on the lower back and can lead to injury.
  • Avoid the top two rungs of the ladder.
  • Always have a spotter when climbing a ladder.

If you do experience a back injury that is not alleviated after 24 hours with an anti-inflammatory, contact your doctor. Also see a physician if you experience pain down the legs, numbness between the thighs, frequent urination or an inability to control bowel movements.