Top tips to help you keep you pain free at Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly but we often see an increase in patients coming in with back pain at this time of year, whether it’s from lugging the tree home; straining to put up the decorations; or sitting awkwardly while wrapping presents. So we’ve put together a list of top tips to help keep you out of pain and feeling your best this Christmas – see below for details:

Christmas tree shopping

When lifting your tree, firstly make sure you are facing the direction in which you want to carry it. Always lift using a relaxed, straight back. Make sure your legs are at least your hips’ width apart with the knees bent. Keep your head and shoulders directly above your waist and keep the tree as close to you as possible – avoid twisting.

Putting up the decorations

Get help lifting awkward items like trees and use a step ladder to get decorations down from the loft or put decorations up. This will help keep you from straining into uncomfortable positions to try to get to those hard to reach places.

Present shopping

If you plan to bag some bargains on the high street, try to carry your shopping in several bags and spread the load equally on each side. And if you can, take a cross body handbag or rucksack to carry all your purchases in to help keep back pain at bay.

When shopping online, make sure you check out our blog on how to avoid aches and pains when working from home. It features lots of tips on how to keep pain free when spending long periods on at a computer at home, so is ideal for an extended online shopping spree.

Wrapping presents

First, gather all your supplies together so that everything is within easy reach. Next avoid unnecessary stresses and strains on your body by sitting at a table in a chair that supports your back rather than sitting or kneeling on the floor and bending over awkwardly.

Christmas cooking

Do as much food preparation as you can in advance or ask for help preparing the food so you’re not stuck doing it for hours on end at a time. And try sitting comfortably at a table to do food prep, instead of standing at a work surface that’s not the right height. When it comes to taking heavy dishes in and out of a low oven, make sure you bend your knees and stick your bottom out.


Whether travelling by car or public transport, try to have a break from sitting at least every 2 hours. If you can, have a walk around. Simple exercises like shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles can all help keep your body active when travelling too. 

If you’re driving, make sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades touching the back rest of the chair. The seat should be set slightly backwards so it feels natural and your elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle for driving.

Stay active

Make the most of the time off to get out in the fresh air for a walk. Or if you’d rather have a bit of a rest, make sure you vary the chair you sit in, as well as your seated position. You can also make yourself more comfortable by putting a cushion in the small of your back. Try to get up and move around regularly too, to prevent any unnecessary strain on your body.

And if you are already experiencing an episode of back pain or any other type of pain and want to get it seen to before Christmas, please just give us a call on 0117 9723 518 to make an appointment.