Five Tips To Avoid Back Pain While Holiday Gift Wrapping

Authored by: Dr. Colin Haines

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. Most people sit on the floor while wrapping presents. This position adds strain to the discs in the lower back, which only serves to exacerbate symptoms and cause pulled muscles. Consider these 5 tips for a stress-free wrapping experience!

1. Avoid sitting on the floor

By using a counter top at waist level, or a dining room table with a supportive chair, ensures that you are using your arms rather than your back. You want to maintain good standing posture or ergonomic sitting posture when wrapping.

2. Create a gift wrapping station

Keeping wrapping paper, scissors, tape, ribbons, and any other materials you may need at arm’s length helps to prevent overextending or stretching muscles in ways they weren’t meant to be stretched. Also, you should wear comfortable and supportive shoes while standing. Do not wrap presents in bare feet.

3. Wrap as you buy

Rather than waiting until the last minute to wrap your large stash of 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. Take breaks if needed

If your back starts to hurt while wrapping, take a short break and finish the rest after. While you’re taking your break, make sure to stretch. This will help to loosen your muscles and joints.

5. Last resort – use gift bags

For some people, especially those with previous issues, gift wrapping inevitably causes back pain. If you are one of those people, skip the added stress and pain of gift wrapping and place your gifts in a festive bag.

By following these five tips while gift wrapping, you can decrease your risk of back pain and enjoy your upcoming holiday festivities! If you do happen to injure your back, our spine specialists at Virginia Spine Institute are here to help you with the most comprehensive care possible.

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