The run up to Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year and, because of this one of the most likely times for you to experience back pain.

Tone advises that “many of us are stressed and rushing about trying to fit in last minute Christmas shopping, cooking, wrapping presents as well as 101 other jobs. In fact I see more people around Christmas time than at any other time of the year. It is at precisely this time when people are stressed and tired that back pain can strike“

Here are my tips on keeping your back safe over the festive season:

* When you are shopping, don’t get weighed down by lots of bags of shopping as this is likely to put strain on your back. Wearing a back pack is one way of distributing the weight evenly.

* Don’t go shopping in killer heels – your back won’t thank you! Wear a pair of flat shoes – sacrifice fashion for practicality.

* Avoid standing cooking all day as this will also put strain on your lower back. Try and put one foot on a footstool or open a kitchen drawer and rest your foot on that. It will really help to take the strain off your back.

* When you wrap your Christmas presents use a table and try not to wrap them while kneeling on the floor as this will put unnecessary strain on your back.

* Be careful when bringing your turkey home in the car. It may be quite heavy, so brace your tummy before you lift it to avoid straining your back. Again, when you come to lift it out of the oven, don’t bend and twist as you do so because the weight of the bird will damage your back.

* Try and write your Christmas cards in short bursts sitting at a desk rather than writing them all at once and risking repetitive strain injury and neck strain.

* If you are hiding presents, in the loft for example, be careful not to strain your back when going up and down the loft ladder.

Remember that stress is one of the main causes of back pain so try and take it easy and don’t let things get on top of you.

For more help and advice on how to combat back pain or to find out more about the range of health services on offer at Luck’s Yard clinic contact Luck’s Yard Clinic on 01483 527945, e-mail enquiries@ or visit