The holiday season is finally here! It is a time for decorating the house, baking, cooking, and wrapping presents. However, as much fun as holiday activities are, they can cause increased pain in your neck and back. Here are a few tips to stay pain free throughout the holiday season.

1. Wrapping Gifts

The worst place to wrap gifts is while sitting on the floor. Sitting on the floor causes you to slump over your gifts, reach for objects too far from your body, and results in poor posturing of your body causing significant pain throughout your neck and upper back. A better place to wrap gifts is sitting at a table or standing at a counter. Also, when wrapping gifts, make sure to have all your supplies within arm’s reach so you do not place your body in awkward positions and strain muscles grabbing tape or scissors. You should also focus on keeping your shoulders relaxed, feet flat on the floor, and take short breaks to move around so you aren’t sitting still in one place for too long.


2. Cooking and Baking

We all seem to spend more time in the kitchen during the holiday season, cooking and baking for friends and family. Yet, all the extra standing in the kitchen can lead to increased stress and pain throughout your entire body. Some ways to minimize this pain are to keep your knees bent slightly while standing and to keep your weight through the balls of your feet. In fact, weight shifting while cooking and baking can help reduce stress on your body. You can also decrease foot pain by wearing a pair of supportive house shoes when standing on the hard, cold floor of your kitchen for hours at a time.


3. Decorating the House

Lifting heavy boxes from the basement or garage proves to be a daunting task this time of year. Make sure to lift boxes properly by bending from the hips and knees, keeping your spine neutral, and carrying the boxes close to your body. Actually, taking multiple trips to and from your storage space is safer than overloading your body with too many heavy items at once. When decorating the house or tree, you should use a ladder to reach tall, hard-to-access spots because over-extending causes muscle strains and pain. Finally, make sure to place your ladder on a steady, even surface and to have someone spot you while on the ladder.

Using the above tips, you can keep yourself healthy and safe so that you can enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends!


For any questions, or to address pains and strains from the holiday season, call or set up an appointment to see one of our therapists!

Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Molly Rittberg received her master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to receive her doctorate from Rosalind Franklin University (North Chicago) in 2009. She has since worked in an outpatient orthopedic practice where she worked with patients of all ages, injuries and disabilities. She has a wide variety of experiences including knee, ankle, foot and shoulder injuries, post-operative conditions, spinal rehabilitation and peripheral neuropathies.