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Santa's Sack, and his Poor Old Back

By Krista Elliott

It's that time of year again -- shopping for presents to leave under the Christmas tree, to give out in the light of the menorah, or to open following the feats of strength and airing of grievances. Some people love gift shopping, and start buying presents for next year before this year's paper is even recycled. Others despise it. Either way, unless you want to be nicknamed Scrooge, it's got to get done.

Shopping for presents can be stressful, however, and not just for your brain or your pocketbook. A day (or a week of days) of shopping can wreak havoc on your spine and joints, leaving you not only cranky and poor, but in serious discomfort. 

Why is holiday shopping such a strain? 

Absolutely Floored: Been to the mall or a big-box store lately? Next time you are, take a look at the floor. The odds are, you're looking at tile. Tile which has been placed on top of concrete. This flooring, while easy to maintain and clean, has no shock absorption whatsoever. As a result, your knees, ankles, hips, and spine are put under a lot of strain. Plus, the slightest amount of moisture makes them slippery, which can result in a joint-damaging slip or fall. To help remedy this, make sure to wear sturdy, non-slip, and cushiony footwear that will keep you supported and safe.

Cash and Carry: When carrying your bags around, we all too often wind up toting as many bags as possible in one hand, so that the other hand is left free. While this is practical, it can result in strong and uneven forces on your joints and spine, leading to painful subluxations. If you have your car with you, make a few trips back to pop your bags in the trunk before your load gets too heavy. Just make sure to remember to lock your car afterward! If you walked or took mass transit, a folding portable shopping trolley or cart can hold your heaviest items, and also makes an effective battering ram if you need to shove people out of the way of the sale rack. 

Ask for a Hand: If you're having trouble reaching an item, ask a clerk for help. Don't scale the shelving yourself and risk joint misalignments, strains, or falling. IT IS NOT A CHIMNEY AND YOU ARE NOT SANTA!  

Mall? Or Mosh Pit?: This time of year, weekends at stores can make Thunderdome look like a daycare. (Actually, knowing what I know of how kids behave at daycares, that may not be the best analogy.) Nonetheless, large crowds, with the jostling and the bumping and the outright shoving can lead to accidents, or at the very least, muscle strain and subluxations. If you can, hit the stores during the week when it's quieter, and leave the weekends for us poor working slobs who have no other choice. 

Whatever you do, though, don't forget the best possible present for yourself: A visit to The Joint Chiropractic. Our chiropractic experts use gentle and precise adjustments to help relieve pain and nerve dysfunction, helping you feel great. You don't even need to make an appointment! So make sure to put The Joint on your schedule this year, and give yourself some happy-back cheer!

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