Don’t Let Gift Wrapping be a Pain in the Neck (or Back!)

Dec 5, 2016

Melanie McDonald

by Melanie McDonald
PT, MPT | Tempe Location

Your tree is up, the halls are decked and the holiday music is on repeat—it’s the perfect setting for wrapping gifts. We’re here to share helpful tips on proper posture when gift wrapping—all to work within the limitations that we all have in our homes.
Wrapping presents on the bed. I do this very often, but the problem is the bed is too low to keep you from bending too much. One of the best ways to give your back some support is to stagger your feet and put one knee into the edge of the bed. This knee is then used to support your body weight and you don’t have as much strain on the back.
Sitting on the floor. An important thing to do before wrapping presents this way is to stretch your legs first. The hamstrings, hip adductors, and hip rotators (back of the leg, inner thigh, and buttock) are often over stretched and painful after you wrap presents this way.
Another thing is to make sure to sit upright, and not let your back roll into a “C” position, or slump down. And make sure that you keep scissors and tape within reach. I personally have aggravated a sciatic condition by reaching quickly for the scissors that were just beyond my foot. Keeping items nearby will help this.
Create a gift wrapping station. Have a spare room or maybe you’re an avid crafter? Use this space to set up a gift wrapping station. Make sure the table you use is high enough that you don’t need to hunch over when wrapping. And don’t forget to slip on some supportive shoes while standing—no bare feet or cozy Christmas slippers.
Remember to be mindful when gift wrapping, especially if you have enough gifts to fill up Santa’s sleigh. If you end up feeling sore, tense or discomfort, schedule a Rapid Recovery® Injury Assessment with the Foothills team to get you feeling better. Happy holidays!

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