Christmas can seriously damage your back

One of Leeds’ leading chiropractors is warning about the dangers the festive period can present to your back.

Rachael Thompson, chiropractor at Freedom Clinics on King Street in Leeds city centre, has provided a check list of dos and don’ts to prevent people being laid up in bed with a bad back this Christmas.


According to Rachael, Christmas shopping poses one of the biggest dangers as people become over laden with gifts for friends and family.

She provides six valuable tips to avoid putting your back under too much pressure.

  • Wear flat comfortable shoes as you will probably end up walking a few miles around the shops
  • Take a backpack with you as it makes it easier to carry the parcels
  • If there is too much for a backpack ensure the parcels are evenly distributed in each arm to avoid twisting your spine
  • Walking slowly can cause backs more problems than moving around briskly, so try not to saunter
  • Ensure you take regular coffee breaks to take the pressure off your back
  • When you sit down, do not slump but instead sit up with your bottom pushed to the back of the chair.


Food shopping is also a danger area with trolleys overflowing with Christmas fayre.

Rachael’s advice is to always push the trolley from straight behind it. Never twist your body to try to manoeuvre it around corners.


Getting the Christmas tree back home and putting it up can also pose problems. The weight of the tree and the awkward shape can make it difficult to lift, resulting in you being in totally the wrong position to lift it into the car or put it in the stand.

In this case Rachael advises putting macho vanity to one side and asking someone to help you carry it or put it up.


Finally on Christmas Day, be careful with the turkey as it can weigh well over two stones if you are entertaining the whole family. Lifting it in and out of the oven, especially low-level ones can result in you putting your back out or straining your knees, even before the arguments start about who’s having sprouts.

The advice in this case is to bend the knees AND hips and to stick your bottom out backwards. This way you can bend forward while ‘hinging’ from the hips with your back remaining straight. Using the hips will avoid putting all the strain through your knees.


“Everyone is so busy rushing around at this time of year that very little thought is given to the strain it could be putting on our backs,” said Rachael. “If you follow these simple steps you should be able to enjoy a niggle free Christmas. Just be careful how you pull the Christmas cracker mind you!”


For more information, or to book treatment, call 0844 327 4000.