Illinois Back Institutes owner and creator Dr. Jeff and Doctor of Physical Therapy Amy Harmening stop by WCIU’s You and Me This Morning to give different tips on how you can avoid back pain while wrapping this holiday season while the gifts are piling up. Wrapping isn’t something you normally don't worry about but when you suffer from a back injury or back pain wrapping can be painful. Just spending a few hours bent over in a bad position can result in tremendous pain. Don’t stress this holiday season. Here are some tips on what to avoid and what to do while wrapping.
What NOT To Do While Wrapping
- Avoid wrapping while sitting on the floor at all causes! Wrapping does require a large amount of space so create your own wrapping station.
- 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 this will restrict the blood flow.
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. Always stretch before you begin to wrap your gifts.
- Best option for wrapping is using a counter top and standing. If you have this option at home make sure to go this way. Wrapping on a counter top will give you all the access you need without over stressing your body.
- Maintain good standing posture.
- Wear comfortable shoes and or stand on a mat if you are standing on a hard surface.
- Clear off 3-5 feet of wide space giving you room to wrap.
- Wrap your presents at a table. Typically using a kitchen or dining table with a chair 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 arms 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.
- Make sure to wear comfortable and supportive shoes if you will be standing for long periods of time. Do NOT do this barefoot or in slippers.
Hopefully all these tips will help you avoid back pain while wrapping your gifts this holiday season. Happy Holidays from all of us at Illinois Back Institute!