InjuryPainRespect SeriesSpine



This is a danger zone, kind of like the sidelines at an NFL football game. You have to keep your eyes open at all times. You have to position yourself so as not to get injured. As in a football game, most of the sideline spectators don’t get hurt. But every game will take its victims. If it’s really funny…like when it gets an unsuspecting photographer who is totally in the line of fire…you’ll see it played over and over again. But I’ve been there on the sidelines of high school and college games, and trust me, it’s a danger zone if you’re not wearing helmet and pads.

The airport luggage carousel will have its due. Mangled fingers, rotator cuff tears and strained backs are the consequences of a careless or greedy approach to your incoming luggage.

What’s the BIG hurry anyway? Why do people crowd into that first ten yards of space as the luggage comes tumbling out of the mysterious place from which it comes? The luggage is backwards. Yours is upside down. Someone else’s bag is on top of yours. You have about five seconds to push theirs off, grab yours and flip it over so you can grasp it by the handle. By then, the next guy is shoving yours out of the way to get his. You stuffed your bag so full that you had to pay the extra handling fee, and now the disc space between your fifth lumbar and first sacral vertebrae is screaming bloody murder and squishing your nucleus pulposis out thru a little weak spot that developed in the supporting cartilage about three years ago. You didn’t have time to engage all those core muscles you’ve been developing in Pilates classes and hello sciatic nerve!

I know you NEED to get somewhere fast…like into traffic.  Or maybe you’ll get the second taxi in line rather than the first. I can’t stress the importance of slowing down in general. But slow down. Just walk from your plane to the area at the carousel where the crowd starts to thin out. By then everyone has sorted through their stuff and turned you suitcase right side up. Engage your core and lift gently by handle. No subsequent visit to your friendly orthopod. Disc spared for another day.

And might I add…please pack more lightly. Suitcases are awkward to lift, especially heavy ones. Why do you pay the extra weight fee? To defray some of the costs of workman’s compensation insurance to the carrier! Those guys you see tossing the bags onto the ramp get hurt all the time! Have a little heart. Even if you pay that fee, they still have to lift that bag. And then you do too!

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