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Mall Misalignments: Shopping and Your Spine

By Krista Elliott

OK, I admit it: I love to shop. I feel like I should be ashamed of this, and should instead have a more cerebral or creative pastime, like reading classical novels or crocheting organic alpaca-yarn models of internal organs for the local Montessori school's health lessons. But in the immortal words of one Popeye the Sailor Man, "I yam what I yam." And I would much rather spend a day leisurely browsing the mall than hiking up a mountain or some other smugly virtuous outdoorsy activity.

But, shopping is not without its risks, and I don't just mean the risk to my bank account when I see that my favorite store is having a huge sale. Nope, I mean the risks to my joint and spine. 

"Krista," you say, "Have you lost the plot? How could you possibly hurt your back while shopping?

Setting aside the fact that I once hurt my back while sneezing, there actually are a few legitimate risks to your spine and joints that are inherent in shopping.

Bag Lady: Whether you're buying Gucci or groceries, there's one thing you have to do after making your purchase. You have to carry it around until you're all done shopping and get to your car or your home. And if you're out for a major spree, or a pre-holiday grocery order? That's a lot of bags, which are probably being carried mostly in one hand so that your other hand is free for your keys, phone, cab fare, or restorative coffee. And all of this uneven weight can do a real number on your hips, spine, and shoulders as you tip your body this way and that to maintain your center of gravity. You may have bought skinny jeans, but they came with a free bonus of subluxations. 

Pounding the Pavement: If you're able-bodied, then shopping can involve a heck of a lot of walking from store to store and standing in line waiting to pay for your purchases. And the flooring in stores? There are diamonds that aren't as hard as these floors are. Seriously, you stand on them for about five minutes, and your knees are yelping out accusatory cries of pain while your lower back is asking you why you couldn't just shop online, already. And all of this strain and pressure can lead to extra wear and tear on your spinal discs as well as your tendons and ligaments. 

Three-Way Mirrors are Evil: If you're buying clothes, you're probably trying them on first, unless you're my husband who can buy his jeans off the shelf without trying them on, because life is just not fair. And when you're trying on clothes, all of that twisting and bending and lifting and moving (especially if you try on a top that's too tight and have to then wrestle it back over your head, cursing and sweating, and wondering if they're going to have to just cut you out of the darned thing) can lead to some nasty subluxations and muscle strains. 

So, if you're out for a bit of retail therapy, why not pop by The Joint Chiropractic for a bit of TLC for your spine and joints? Our experts will help keep your back and joints pain-free and your spine functioning at peak levels. So you might shop 'til you drop, but your back and joints will always be ready to hit just one more store. 

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$29 New Patient Special, Consultation | Exam | Adjustment

Offer valued at $45. Valid for new patients only. See clinic for chiropractor(s)' name and license info. Clinics managed and/or owned by franchisee or Prof. Corps. Restrictions may apply to Medicare eligible patients. Individual results may vary.