If you’ve ever had a sore back after spending hours wrapping Christmas or birthday presents, you are not alone. Many people find themselves sore and stiff for days after sitting hunched on the floor while gift wrapping. Poor posture combined with repetitive, straining, arm motions to cut paper and tape can leave your shoulders, neck, and spine tired and aching.
How to Sidestep Back Pain When Wrapping Gifts this Holiday Season
Back pain while wrapping can be avoidable. Break the cycle of holiday pain by checking out our tips below.
Get off the Floor
It can be second nature to lay out all your gifts and supplies on the floor before getting to work on wrapping. However, wrapping on the floor leads to poor posture, throwing your spine out of alignment. Instead, sit at a waist-height table in a supportive chair. Doing this will ensure you use your arms rather than your back to wrap, easing the strain on your muscles and joints.
Plan Several Wrapping Sessions
Many of us stay up late the night before a holiday or special occasion, spending hours wrapping each gift to perfection. Hours of repetitive motions can lead to increased strain on your back and arms. Instead, plan to have multiple, smaller wrapping sessions to decrease the likelihood of back pain. One tip to avoid marathon wrapping sessions is to wrap gifts as you purchase them. Doing this can help break up the task and avoid stress on your joints and muscles.
Take Frequent Breaks
If you start to feel your muscles cramp as you wrap in your neck, back, or shoulders, it is essential to take a break to avoid further strain. Get up from your wrapping station, grab a glass of water, and do some simple stretches. Toe-touches and arm raises are perfect for loosening tight muscles. It may even be helpful to pace yourself by doing some light stretches after every gift.
Simplify Your Wrapping
If you are overwhelmed with many gifts, and a long wrapping session seems inevitable, it may benefit you and your back to simplify your wrapping strategy. Not every gift needs to be wrapped with paper and ribbons. Gift bags with pretty tissue paper can look just as festive under your tree. If you don’t like the idea of gift bags, try putting irregular-shaped gifts into boxes before you wrap them. Doing this will help the wrapping process go quicker and easier and has the added benefit of ensuring every gift is wrapped to perfection.
Talk to a Skilled Spine Specialist to Alleviate Pain Caused by Gift-Wrapping
Every person is different, and some may be more prone to back pain while gift-wrapping than others. If you find yourself in pain after wrapping presents, it may be helpful to consult a spine doctor. Our doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic are dedicated to treating your symptoms and helping you get back to a pain-free life.
Our medical team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, physicians, and orthopedic specialists have successfully performed thousands of minimally invasive procedures. Our prioritization of minimally invasive treatments ensures that patients have a faster recovery time and can get back to enjoying their lives sooner. Give us a call at (866) 272-9271 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled spine specialists.