Christmas can be the busiest time of the year for many people, spending hours shopping, gift wrapping and cooking. While you prepare for a Christmas for the whole family to enjoy, don’t forget to prioritise self care this holiday season. Staying healthy and pain free over Christmas by avoiding back pain is possible, with the right advice.

Continue reading below to learn our tips for avoiding back pain this Christmas.

Carrying Christmas Shopping

Staying healthy and pain free over Christmas involves maintaining a healthy posture and not putting too much stress on your body. When going on one huge shopping trip to buy the bulk of your Christmas gifts, try to balance your purchases in several bags rather than trying to carry it all in one large bag. This way you can split the weight between both arms, but if you can carry less by leaving shopping bags in the car before moving onto more shops, that would be most beneficial.

When loading your shopping into your car, keep a straight back and bend with your knees when lifting objects. If it’s very heavy, ask for some help. If you drive a two door car and need to put shopping bags on the back seats, be careful. Bending and twisting your lower back while doing this can make you vulnerable to injury.

Setting Up Your Wrapping Station

Despite having a pile of gifts to wrap that can look never ending, avoid setting up your wrapping station on the floor. While there may be plenty of room, it becomes too tempting to have bad posture as you lean forward for long periods of time wrapping gifts. 

To avoid back pain, sit at a table with a chair that offers excellent back support. Keep the essentials within arms reach and bring presents to the table when they are next to wrap, rather than reaching over.

Handling Your Christmas Tree

Whether you choose a faux or real Christmas tree this year, both can be heavy and tricky to handle. When carrying it from the car or attempting to bring it out of the loft, ask for help from someone else, especially if using ladders. By sharing the weight while carrying your Christmas tree, it puts less stress on your back and shoulders.

Then, while decorating your tree, avoid overstretching by using a step where necessary and moving around the tree instead of leaning around.

Preparing Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner is one of the most awaited traditions of the holiday, with families going all out with their turkeys, complete with all of the trimmings. When lowering a heavy turkey into your oven, remember to bend with your knees and not with your back!

When sat around the table, avoid arching your back to carve the turkey and leaning over the table for food. Instead, agree on a system so that everyone can keep their backs relaxed at the table. Take a side dish one by one and pass it onto the person to the left of you for organised serving.

Stretch and Stay Active

Despite it being the holiday season, don’t use it as an excuse to sit in front of the TV for prolonged periods of time. Regular stretching and staying active can help your body when it comes to strenuous tasks, such as Christmas shopping, decorating and dinner preparation.

Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of gentle to moderate exercise 3-5 times per week to maintain healthy joints and muscles, as well as benefiting your mental health. Even if it’s a family walk with a hot chocolate in hand, to browse the Christmas lights in your local area. Get the whole family involved with keeping active and healthy this Christmas and offer support whenever you can!

Avoiding Back Pain This Christmas

Staying healthy and pain free over Christmas can also be helped by visiting your osteopath. At Solihull Osteopathic Practice we offer osteopathic treatment for back pain, in addition to shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain, sports injuries and posture problems to name a few.

To plan your visit, you can book an appointment online or call our team on 0121 705 4499 today!