7 Tips to Survive Christmas with Back Pain

Women wearing a Santa hat holding lower back in pain

Over the years, I’ve found a few ways to cope with Christmas back pain, and so I thought I’d provide some tips to survive the festive period.

Now, I love Christmas, but I find that festive activities – such as Christmas shopping, decorating the Christmas tree and wrapping presents – can really aggravate my back and cause pain.

Factor in the cold weather and holiday stress, and my back seems to hurt more during this time of year, which can put a real damper on my festive spirit.

Here are my top tips to ease Christmas back pain:

  1. Do Your Christmas Shopping Online
  2. Wrap Christmas Gifts at a Table
  3. Use Gift Bags/Wrap as you go
  4. Use a Cushion
  5. Ask for help!
  6. Take regular breaks when decorating/cooking
  7. Make time to stretch / take a walk

Do Your Christmas Shopping Online

I try to do most of my Christmas shopping online, as a full day walking round the shops carrying shopping bags does cause me quite a bit of back pain. If I do need to brave the shops, I try to take regular breaks to sit down and make sure I wear comfy shoes. I also try to break it up into shorter trips, rather than a mammoth shopping session.

Wrap Christmas Gifts at a Table

Definitely don’t sit on the floor wrapping Christmas presents. All the bending and twisting is not good for your back at all. Since I had my spinal fusion surgery, wrapping presents is something I find very awkward and painful. What I tend to do when wrapping Christmas presents, is to sit at a table, so that I don’t need to bend forwards.

Use Gift Bags/Wrap as you go

Another tip is that if you find wrapping presents painful, try to break it up into smaller sessions so you are not sat for hours wrapping gifts. Alternatively, don’t wrap presents at all – you could always use gift bags or ask someone else to wrap your gifts for you!

Use a cushion

Hours sat at a Christmas dinner table can be painful if you suffer with back pain. I tend to use a memory foam cushion and place that behind the small of my back. This can help if you are sat on uncomfortable chairs or in an unfamiliar environment. You could also use a heat pad and/or hot water bottle on your back.

Ask for help!

If you can, don’t be afraid to ask for help with decorating, cooking, wrapping gifts etc. See if you can get someone else to clamber up into the loft and climb up the ladder to put the Christmas lights up. If you are decorating, make sure to put decorations at waist height so you don’t need to keep bending down.

Take regular breaks when decorating/cooking

It’s important to take regular breaks if you are decorating the house/cooking Christmas dinner. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Another tip is to sit down at a table when preparing food, rather than standing.

Make time to stretch / take a walk

Often, Christmas is a time where (in general) people are less active. If you have back pain, sitting down for hours on end can make things worse. It’s important to keep moving if you can and make the time to get outside for some walks and fresh air over the festive break. If you can fit in some stretches during the holidays too, even better.

These are just a few tips for dealing with Christmas back pain. Is there anything missing? Let me know your own suggestions in the comments below 🙂. If your back pain is really bad, then you could also speak to your Dr about pain relief, like anti-inflammatories.

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Merry Christmas!

Louise x

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