For many people, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a beautifully decorated tree in the home. Unfortunately, the enticing scent of pine and the sight of all those bright lights and sparkling ornaments can come at a price, especially if you’re prone to back pain. Putting up a Christmas tree and taking it down can lead to back problems when it’s not done correctly.
When it’s time to bring your tree home, have a friend go too. Don’t try hoisting the tree onto the car yourself, since even smaller trees can weigh a lot. Trees of all sizes are also awkward to handle, especially when it comes to lifting them up. You and your friend can work together to get the tree on your car, so you don’t strain your back muscles. As always, remember to lift with your knees and not your back. Make sure that the weight is evenly distributed, or you’ll end up overworking your back muscles. Your friend should also help you get the tree down from the car and carry it into your house.
Getting your Christmas tree set up is another activity that can strain your back and lead to muscle pain. Have your friend help you make any necessary trimmings or cuttings before placing your tree in its stand. When your tree is ready, one of you can support the tree while the other puts it in the stand. If you’re the one putting it in the stand, carefully kneel down to move it around. Don’t just lean over, since this will strain your back. If you suffer from back problems already, have your friend be the one to do this part while you hold the tree straight.
Decorating the tree is a little bit easier on your back because there’s no heavy lifting involved. It’s still important to use caution when moving around and reaching up to put decorations on the tree. If possible, keep the tree decorations on a nearby table or other high surface, so they’ll be easier to reach. This saves you from having to constantly lean down and straighten up again. Be careful when putting the lights and garland on the tree. Don’t twist your back or try to reach too far to get them all the way around the tree. Walk around it instead. Use a step-stool or small and steady ladder to put the star on the top of the tree, so you won’t have to stretch your back muscles too much.
When the festivities are over and it’s time to take the tree down, you’ll need to use just as much caution as when you put it up. Otherwise, you could end up needing back pain relief. Once you have all the decorations off the tree, have a friend help you get it out of the stand. Again, one of you should kneel down to remove the tree from the stand, while the other holds the tree steady. You and your friend can then carry the tree, with the weight distributed evenly between you, to the curb.
By using common sense and care, you’ll be able to get through the process of putting up your tree and taking it down without suffering from back pain. If you have a back problem that does flare up or if you do end up needing treatment, there are many non-surgical options available, including chiropractic care and functional disc rehydration.
For more advice on treating or preventing back pain during the holidays, please contact the Illinois Back Institute. We’ve been specializing in reducing back pain for several years.