‘Tis the season to be jolly, but suffering from a bad back over the Christmas period can put pain to all that fun.

The British Osteopathic Association has put together some festive tips to help you enjoy Christmas ache and pain free.

"It is almost a certainly that we will get a couple of calls from people on Christmas Eve who have strained their back wrapping presents", comments Dhirindar Bhullar, a member of the British Osteopathic Association with a clinic in The Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Hotel.

"It happens almost every year. They come in with acute lower back pain, muscle spasm, and bent over double. The problem is that wrapping presents can take a long time, in awkward positions usually on the floor, and it can be quite a strain on the back. Always try to wrap presents sitting at a table, or using a high surface. Limit present wrapping to 30 minutes and then take a 5 minute break.”

Some festive tips:

'Cocktail Party Backs' are all too common. Make sure you ensure that both feet are on the ground and weight is distributed evenly. Leaning to one side or standing on one leg is a sure-fire way to cause problems with disc, especially if you suffer from back pain already.

'Brussel Sprout' back! This can be quite common. It is most likely to happen to the main organiser of Christmas celebrations, usually the cook. They have spent weeks rushing around from shopping to parties; from school collection and a hundred and one things to do as well as getting the house in order for the “in-laws”, with the added stress of wanting the perfect house and perfect Christmas. The pressure mounts and mounts until the “Brussel sprouts” moment; this is usually the last thing to do for the festive celebrations. The host relaxes and then the back goes into spasm or there is a headache or neck pain. The increasing build up in stress with a sudden relaxation often gives the body uneven mechanics that causes an acute episode in a weak area. The answer to this is to make sure you delegate jobs to the whole family and allow yourself some time to exercise and have a relaxing hot bath.

'Car journey knee/back' is very common over the festive period. Spending too long in the car travelling to relatives can lead to back and joint pain. Make sure you don’t wrist yourself when you get in and out of the car and stop for a walk before you get there to keep the muscles working.

'Scale electric back/knees' Dads and Granddads’ are the greatest sufferers of this. The children get a new toy and the adults spend hours bent on their knees over the new toy setting it up and trying to get it to work! When they finally try to get up and move around their knees lock up and the back goes. The answer is simpler than you think – try and use the cleared table or set it up on the bed upstairs.

'Turkey Knees' are common! Christmas Day usually involves spending hours sitting around chatting and opening presents. The knees are stiff and there is a lack of circulation to them. The host then crouches down in front of the oven to take the turkey out and their knees are over loaded and strained, easily resulting in injury to the knee cartilage. Boxing Day gardeners back You can picture it now! Dad decides on Boxing Day that he has eaten too much or wants to get away from all the chatting. He decides to do the logs or start racking leaves or doing the garden. He then comes back in to his arm chair exhausted and has a snooze, meanwhile his back has gone into spasm! Instead of heavy gardening go for a walk and take at least two hours before you have the snooze, ideally have a shower and stretch after.

'Fortnight off work back' is common for builders and physical labourers, even osteopaths and physios. They are off work for two weeks and then have to get back too quickly into the swing of things and their back goes on the second day back.

For further information about the BOA please visit www.osteopathy.org