We're in the middle of the holiday season, which means most people have already bought some gifts for family and friends or will be in the near future. One of the best parts of receiving presents from loved ones is seeing the gift wrapped up all beautifully ... and then tearing that paper off to see what's underneath!
Wrapping presents isn’t something people normally worry about, but when you suffer from a back injury or back pain it can really be a hassle. Just spending an hour or two bent over in a bad position can result in tremendous pain!
Here are some tips on what to do and what to avoid while gift wrapping:
What NOT To Do While Wrapping
- Avoid wrapping while sitting on the floor at all costs! Create your own wrapping station with plenty of space instead.
- Avoid sitting or kneeling on the same level as you are wrapping. This causes you to have to bend and stretch for extended periods of time causing a great deal of stress on the neck and lower back.
- Avoid bending forward with your legs stretched out in front of you or sitting on a hard surface. Doing so will restrict the blood flow and lead to pain.
Best Possible Options When Wrapping
Since there is no “ideal” position for wrapping gifts, the most important thing to remember is to vary your positions. And always stretch before you begin to wrap your gifts.
- Best option for wrapping is using a counter top. Wrapping on a counter top will give you all the access you need without over stressing your back.
- If wrapping while standing, wear comfortable shoes and if possible stand on a cushioned surface such as carpeting or a mat.
- Maintain good standing posture.
- Clear off 3-5 feet of space to give yourself plenty of room to wrap.
- Wrap your presents at a table. Typically using a kitchen or dining table gives you the right height to work at. However, wrapping a large gift will still require you to do a good amount of bending, stretching and standing.
- Keep good sitting posture while seated.
- Use a comfortable and supportive chair.
Create Your Own Wrapping Station
- Clear off your table completely. A good wrapping station should be large enough that you can unroll your paper and support your packages at the same time. (3-5 feet long)
- Keep scissors, tape, ribbons, and any other items you may need while wrapping at arm's length. If possible use a side table to put these items on. You should NOT have to bend or stretch to reach these items.
- Place the roll of paper at the back so that you can pull it towards you while unrolling. This is so you can pull out as much paper as you need to wrap the present. It will also then be able to hang down so it does not interfere with your work surface.
Hopefully all these tips will help you avoid back pain while wrapping your gifts this holiday season!
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
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