Eat, Drink and Be Merry! 5 Tips to Prevent Lower Back Pain These Holidays

prevent back pain during holidays

Over 80% of Americans have experienced or will struggle with back pain at some point in their lives. Unfortunately for some, this might be during the merriest time of the year. 

The holidays require a lot of decorating, shopping, cooking, and hosting. If you aren't careful, this can put extra strain on your back and lead to pain. Instead of suffering through the holidays, let's take a look at some tips that'll help you prevent lower back pain for a merry and bright holiday season!

1. Don't Decorate By Yourself 

Trying to move heavy boxes of Christmas decorations out of the attic or putting up a tree by yourself isn't a good idea. The more your reach, lift, and twist, the more stress you put on your back. Instead, make decorating a group activity. Get friends or family members to help you. Let them do the "heavy lifting" while you hand them the things they need, like tacks, lights, garland, or ornaments. 

2. Make Shopping Simple 

Walking through crowded malls and lugging heavy shopping bags to and from the car isn't going to help your back. Do your best to make your Christmas shopping as quick and easy as possible this year. Do most of your shopping online or make one trip to the grocery store to buy gift cards. This will take the strain off your back and still allow you to buy your loved ones presents. 

Many stores like Target and Best Buy offer online shopping and let you pick up your order at the customer service desk. This will save you time walking the stores. Just order online and they'll do the shopping for you! You can also order your groceries online too from some grocery stores.

3. Don't Wrap Your Presents All At Once 

If you have a big family (or just a lot of presents) wrapping them all at the same time can turn into a time-consuming chore. That means you'll have to sit in the same, potentially painful position for an extended period of time. Set up a wrapping station at the table with everything you need and wrap each present as you buy them. This way, you only have to spend a few minutes wrapping one or two presents at a time. Or, support local charities that wrap gifts at the mall. For a donation, they'll wrap all of your gifts while you wait.

4. Split up Your Cooking 

Spend some time planning ahead for large, holiday meals.  Are you having a lot of guests over? Do you have to cook a massive amount of food? Do what you can in advance. Chop vegetables, bake desserts and do other small tasks the day before. Try limiting your time in the kitchen to short intervals. Cook some food then take a break. If possible ask your guests to bring an item or two or purchase items like Christmas cookies and other desserts from a local bakery.

Ask your guest to help you serve the food and clean up afterward. 

5. Don't Sit on the Floor

While it might be tempting to sit on the floor while the kids unwrap presents, make sure you stay off the ground. If you need a surface, sit at the table or stand at the counter. This will allow you to use your arms without straining your back. 

And don't forget about your posture. Every time you're standing or sitting, make sure you're holding the right posture. 

How to Prevent Lower Back Pain Over the Holidays 

The holidays are a busy time of the year. If you aren't careful, you can end up putting extra stress on your back. To prevent lower back pain this year, make sure you spend some time planning ahead. Keep your shopping trips fast and simple and don't wrap all your presents at the same time. Simple tricks like this can help you avoid added pain during the holidays. 

If you struggle with back pain, give yourself the best gift of all, a visit with Dr. Busch. Schedule an appointment to learn about our nonsurgical treatment options for back pain

And, make sure you read our other article to learn how to prevent back pain all year round

in Back Pain

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