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Five Tips to Avoid Back Pain While Holiday Gift Wrapping

Christmas is fast approaching and while Santa’s elves have been busy building the toys, the gift wrapping is up to you!  Unfortunately, gift wrapping can be an especially painful experience for those suffering from back pain. Sitting on the floor, bending over presents and wrapping paper while desperately trying to rip the tape – does this sound familiar? This position adds strain to the discs in the lower back which only serves to exacerbate symptoms and caused pulled muscles. Consider these tips for a stress-free wrapping experience!

1. Avoid sitting on the floor
  • Use a table top counter that is at waist level, or the dining room table with a comfortable, supportive chair. This ensures you are using your arms, rather than your back.
2. Create a gift wrapping station
  • Clear off the table and keep wrapping paper, scissors, tape, ribbons, and any other materials you may need at arm’s length
  • Place the roll of paper toward the back of the counter so you can pull it toward you while unrolling.
  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes while standing. Do not wrap presents in bare feet.
  • Stand on a memory foam mat, if available.
3. Wrap as you buy
  • Rather than wait until the last minute to wrap 25 gifts at one time, consider wrapping them as you buy them. This will ensure you’re not maintaining a painful position for a long period of time.
4. Use gift bags
  • Skip the added stress of gift wrapping altogether and place your gifts in a  festive bag. Add some decorative tissue paper and some ribbon for a polished presentation!
5. Don't forget to stretch!
  • Yes -- even with gift wrapping it is important to loosen those muscles and joints. Doing simple stretches prior to wrapping gifts may help to minimize pain afterward. 

Gift wrapping shouldn't knock you out of the remaining holiday festivities. Try implementing these tips so you can enjoy the gift of Christmas!

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