Holiday travel can mean long lines and hurried sprints through sprawling terminals. It also can mean neck, wrist, back and shoulder pain, and even injury, from carrying and lifting heavy luggage.
In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 75,543 luggage-related injuries in 2013, an increase of more than 20,000 when compared to 2012.
Our own Dr. Michael Hussey offered a few ways you can stay off that list with Shannon Miller on KARK.
In his practice, Dr. Hussey devotes his passion and skills to the treatment of all complex shoulder and elbow disorders, ranging from sports injuries to osteoarthritis. He has authored several book chapters related to injuries of the shoulder and elbow. He also serves as a consultant reviewer for the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.
To ensure that you arrive at your holiday destination free from pain, it’s important to know how to optimally choose, pack, carry and lift your luggage.
In addition to the guidelines demonstrated in the video, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers the following safety tips:
- When purchasing new luggage, look for a sturdy, light piece with wheels and a handle.
- Pack lightly. When possible, pack items in a few smaller bags instead of one large luggage piece. Many airlines restrict carry-on luggage weighing more than 40 pounds.
- When placing luggage in an overhead compartment, first lift it onto the top of the seat. Then, place your hands on the left and right sides of the suitcase and lift it up. If your luggage has wheels, make sure the wheel-side is set in the compartment first. Once wheels are inside, put one hand atop the luggage and push it to the back of the compartment.
- Do not rush when lifting or carrying a suitcase. If it is too heavy or an awkward shape, get help.
- Do not carry heavier pieces of luggage for long periods of time. If it is too heavy, make sure to check luggage when traveling rather than carrying it on a plane, train or bus.
- If using a backpack, make sure it has two padded and adjustable shoulder straps. Choose one with several compartments to secure various-sized items. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder does not allow weight to be distributed evenly, which can cause muscle strain.
- Carry – don’t drag – your luggage when climbing the stairs (or better yet, take the elevator).