The holidays are a busy time of year, and if you find time to hang holiday decorations, chances are you’re going to drag out that rickety ladder from the shed. If you have a spinal condition, it can be risky climbing up a ladder, since even the slightest twist can create excruciating pain. At the Colorado Spine Institute in Loveland, we can help treat your spinal pain, and give you some helpful tips on how to best care for your back between appointments. If you’re intent on using your ladder this November or December, make sure you follow these important rules.

Check the Condition of the Ladder

There are thousands of ladder-related injuries each year, and between work and home, people are injured even when falling a short distance. By checking the condition of your wooden or steel ladder, you can feel more confident before you step on that first rung. If one of the braces is broken or a step is missing, you might want to head to the hardware store to get a new one before you unravel those lights and climb on the roof.

Pick the Right Type of Ladder

If you’re working against the house, hanging lights on the gutter, an extension ladder can suffice. If you’re working above the porch where the roof isn’t so high, a stepladder is usually best. What you don’t want to do is try to extend a ladder by placing it on top of something, or step higher than is advisable to reach that last hook or change that last bulb.

Put the Ladder in the Right Spot

Many people who fall off ladders during the holidays could’ve avoided injury by simply placing the ladder in a better spot. Make sure the ground underneath the ladder is level and firm, and if there’s snow on the ground, take the time to clear a spot so the ladder doesn’t flip. It’s also smart to have someone hold the bottom of the ladder while you climb up.

Don’t Try to Do Too Much on a Ladder

You might be trying to get your decorations up as quickly as possible, but it’s important to take your time when you’re on a ladder. Trying to reach too far or taking a foot of the ladder can be a quick way to fall, and it’s also smart not to try to hold too many things in your hands. Keep both feet and at least one hand on the ladder at a time to protect against a serious fall.

If you’re preparing for the holidays and want to get in the festive spirit by decorating your home, don’t let a spinal condition slow you down. If crippling pain is keeping you from being merry and bright, come to our clinic in Loveland for professional diagnosis and treatment. If you plan to get up on a ladder, make sure your back and legs will support your weight as you climb. The last thing you want is to miss out on the celebration because you can’t get off the couch!