I've seen in a video the advice to leave the wheel in contact with the ground to prevent rotation while breaking loose the axle nut. The specific example I saw jacked the car up and then lowered it again to get sufficient weight on the tire. I don't think the car's normal weight was on it.
This seems like a simple approach to keep the whole thing from spinning, but is there any risk of this causing other problems? As far as I can think, the axle should have no real load on it (not under power / rotating). But I'm no expert at this type of work.