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How to Avoid Back Strain This Season

Updated: Dec 11, 2018

If you are prone to back strain or want to avoid it altogether here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when decorating, lifting and traveling during the holidays.

  • Do not round or hunch your back when wrapping gifts. Instead, stand or sit so you can easily maintain a more upright position.

  • When carrying boxes and packages, keep them close to your torso and don’t try to carry too much.

  • When carrying packages outside, first scan the path you’ll be walking to make sure there’s no ice or anything else you might slip on. If you can’t see over your packages or out in front of you, make two trips.

  • Not a good idea to carry children on one hip. Instead, sit or cuddle with them or find them something to do.

  • Squat and stiffen your back and front to lift. See article How to Lift Safely to Spare Your Back and Knees.

  • Avoid lifting and twisting at the same time. Be mindful when shoveling snow....push the snow with the shovel.


While sitting for extended periods in your car, be conscious of good sitting posture; no persistent slouching or leaning.

  • Occasionally bring your arm bones back by doing a shoulder roll with each arm like this: shoulder moves forward, up, straight back, then down.

  • Also try placing a tennis ball in your upper back to support a more upright position and to decompress the low back.

  • Read my article on How to Sit With More Ease for more information.


If you'll be standing in your kitchen for a long time baking and cooking, take breaks and consider standing with one foot elevated and resting on a box, or some other kind of platform. Switch legs often.

For tired legs and feet, lay on floor or bed and elevate your legs. This will improve circulation in the legs and also feel good for your back.

Happy Holidays and may all your backs be pain-free — Gift Certificates for yoga therapy classes or private sessions from Joanne are available by request. Call 705 -888-9686 or Email

For private coaching on proper body mechanics and posture book an appointment

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