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Avoid the pain of Christmas Wrapping – Postural tips

We have all done it, piled the presents around us, popped on our favourite Christmas film or music, grabbed mince pie and a mulled wine or hot chocolate and settled down for a present wrapping session. More often than not all the preparation is about the tools we need to do the job at hand (as well as treats to keep going). However we often forget the main tool we need – our body, & instead just plop down with little thought to the discomfort we will be in after half an hour or so of sitting on the floor, leaning over & stretching.

Buy it & wrap it.

Ok I am not a fan of this as I am never that organised to remember to write down what I have bought and for whom, so if I did this I would end up with a huge pile for one person, and nothing for someone else. HOWEVER if you are more organised than I am, then this is a great way to avoid wrapping pain.

Give Gift Certificates

So this may seem to be the an unimaginative choice of present, however you can tailor the gift to the recipient, and you can often avoid the stress of shopping by purchasing online, and the discomfort of wrapping. Perhaps you know someone who would benefit from an osteopathic treatment – we offer gift certificates for both new and existing patients. What better gift than to relieve someone else’s pain.

Don’t sit on the floor.

First of all don’t sit on the floor if possible. Instead sit a a table in a supportive chair, or stand up, or alternate between the 2.

Standing up

If you are standing make sure your work surface is the right height – a kitchen work top or ironing board is a better height than a table. Make sure your shoulders are not hunching upwards, keep them relaxed. Remember to change position regularly, or move around or sit down if your back starts to feel tired.
Advice On Sitting Correctly
When sitting on a chair: 1) Keep your eyes on the horizon. 2) Do not let your head drop forwards or down. 3) Do not let your shoulders drop forwards. 4) Do not let your upper back round. 5) Keep a gentle backward curve in your lower back.

Video: http://youtu.be/V5TGzXUJlqo


Prepare your work station

  • Gather the wrapping paper, gift tags, scissors, sellotape & pens so that they are easy to reach within arms length.
  • Don’t stretch to far, instead move the gift or wrapping paper towards you.
  • Make sure the chair is a comfortable one
  • Wear supportive shoes.

Stretch out

Every half an hour or so change your sitting or standing position and stretch out those muscles which have been maintaining your position. Remember it is never your posture that is your problem it is the lack of movement.

Below are 3 exercises which will help you ease tired muscles.

Sitting Extension

Support your neck by placing your hands Interlocked behind your neck. Rounds you lower back slightly, to focus the movement to the upper back, and slowly bend backwards.

Video: http://youtu.be/Si0OKWUogJk

Standing Lower Trapezius Strengthening

Stand up tall, with good posture. Place your arms at 45 degrees to your side, and palms facing forwards. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you draw your arms back. You should feel a tightening of the muscles at the bottom of your shoulder blades. This exercise will strengthen your lower trapezius muscle and rhomboid muscles, and help with posture.

Neck Retraction

Sit upright with good posture. Gently pull your head back as far as comfortable and down slightly. You will feel some gentle tension at the front and back of your neck. This exercise will help your neck and upper back posture.

Video: http://youtu.be/VYcifC6BFgc

Thank you again to my colleagues at REHAB My Patient for their great exercises.
If you need more advice or a tune up to ensure your are fit and healthy for Christmas don’t forgot to book your appointment now.  #osteopathyworks to keep you healthy this festive season