Beating holiday back pain

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NBC News (NBC) - From activities like hanging Christmas lights to lifting heavy luggage, the holidays can be a treacherous time to injure your spine.

Dr. Shah Dodwad says the most common injuries happen when people fall from ladders or strain when lifting boxes and suitcases.

However, pain can frequently happen doing almost anything you aren't used to: sleeping in a guest bed, standing a long time or picking up a kid who grew in the last year.

"It's just about proper mechanics when you want to lift up a kid. If you bend at your hips, and left them straight up, that can create a problem versus bending down, keeping your spine in an upright, vertical alignment and bending down in your knees and then picking them up from that standpoint," Dodwad says.

Since Dodwad said your core strength is crucial in preventing back pain, also remember holiday weight gain can hurt your back, too.

"Core muscles in the belly and the back is the biggest thing to try and prevent these things from happening. Because the stronger your muscles are, the stronger your core, the less likely you are to have these types of injuries," he explains.