Ho-Ho-Holiday Shopping Strategies to Avoid Back Pain

By Sara Butler

Holiday Shopping with Family

Let me see …

  • Shopping List? Check.
  • Wallet? Check.
  • Sturdy shoes? Check.
  • Body armor? Check.

Oh, yes — it’s that time of year again; time to roll up your sleeves and get your holiday shopping done. While giving gifts to other helps this season to be joyful for a lot of people, the shopping part of it may not bring you so much joy, especially if you’ve been under a scrum on Black Friday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year almost 6,000 people suffer some kind of back injury related to holiday activities, such as shopping. Shopping is just like every other type of physical activity; you must take steps in order protect your back from woes this holiday season. At The Joint, we can help you learn to protect your back while you’re fighting for the last Hatchimal within a 250-mile radius! Here are a few of our best back-saving holiday strategies.

It’s an Athletic Event

In his long and celebrated career, you never saw Peyton Manning take the field without a proper warm-up, and you shouldn’t either! The shopping mall may not be a football field, but I would argue there are some similarities. You have to treat this shopping excursion like your Super Bowl! You should make sure to:

  • Do some light stretching before you start
  • Drink water while you’re out — staying hydrated is important
  • Wear the right shoes that offer support
  • Wear comfortable and breathable clothing — layers are optimal
  • Don’t take a purse; a fanny pack (yeah, they’re back!) or a small backpack is best

You have to remember that when you’re out shopping, your laser-focus is pushing you to the max. This stresses your body, which makes staying hydrated and keeping your muscles stretched that much more important. Make Peyton Manning proud.

Break!

You may be driven to finish your shopping all in one go. Hey, I don’t blame you – malls can be stressful this time of year both physically and emotionally. But if you’re going to go on a shopping marathon, it’s really important that you:

  • Take at least one break an hour
  • Get a locker if they’re offered to store your items
  • If there are no lockers, make trips to the car to store your stuff
  • Have light snacks during your breaks to keep your strength up
  • Avoid coffee and soda — all that caffeine and sugar will stress your body more

This time of the year can be a time where we indulge a little more than usual. That fancy hot chocolate mocha-cino quadruple crème with roughly 1200 calories and 86 grams of fat may be singing a siren song to you, but you know better. We really should all endeavor to eat healthier this time of year, and not just to stave off extra pounds. Eating a heavy, fatty meal and then going on an exhausting trip to the mall can actually be dangerous for your health. I doubt Peyton Manning does his shopping that way. I imagine for him, he studies a map of the mall for the two weeks leading up to the trip, creating one main plan and several alternate plans, and then executing it in record time. Or just sends a personal shopper. Whatever -- just be kind to your body and don’t do too much!

See the Chiropractor!

We all get sold this idea that the holidays are a time of joy, and while that is true, we all know that the holidays are also incredibly stressful. This is why it’s so important to see your chiropractor this time of year. If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain due to the shopping, the stress, or you fell off the roof trying to channel Clark W. Griswold while hanging your holiday decorations, then you need to come to The Joint Chiropractic today. Your chiropractor can help reduce your pain and stress naturally, which is bound to make your holidays a little jollier.

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