Between hanging lights, hauling bags, wrapping gifts and shoveling sidewalks, the holidays can wreak havoc on your back. Here are some tips to help prevent pain.

Decorating Don’ts
If you are high up on ladders to put up lights, be sure you have someone holding the ladder for you. While you may have an overwhelming desire to reach the farthest peaks of your rooftop, avoid placing yourself in precarious situations. Keep your wits about you as you are decorating and practice common sense at all times.

Package Precautions
Reduce loads on your back during marathon shopping excursions by making multiple trips to your car to store packages instead of hauling many bags with you at once. If you are at a mall, see if they offer a bag check. If you are trying to haul any particularly large packages to put under the Christmas tree, remember the well-known rule to lift with your knees and avoid placing strain on your lower back.

Snow Aches and Pains
Many winter injuries occur from lack of preparation or simple distraction. If you are in an area where temperatures get around freezing or below, be sure to have rock salt on hand to de-ice your sidewalks and driveways. When walking around, wear boots with good traction and keep an eye out for icy patches.

If the snow is piling up around your house, you may encounter hours of shoveling snow, which can place strain on your lower back and leave you sore. If you are prone to back pain, consider hiring someone to shovel your walks for you! Think of the expense of doctor’s appointments or missed work compared to the marginal cost of hiring a kid from the neighborhood. If you decide to do it yourself, take a look at these tips for reducing pack pain while you are shoveling.

Be Kind To Yourself
December can be a time of feeling hurried and being prone to distraction. If you do happen to hurt your back, it is important to take it easy for a day or two and avoid activities that can exacerbate your pain. It may be tempting to push through the pain in order to accomplish everything on your to-do list, but being out of commission for holiday parties and family gatherings does not make the season merry.