Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 12, 2016
Shopping for nieces, nephews, co-workers and in-laws can be a pain in the neck, but it can also take a heavy toll on our spines. There are a number of different ways holiday shopping can stress and strain your back. Today, we take a look at some of the ways holiday shopping can hurt your spine, and tips for preventing back pain from setting in.
Back Pain While Shopping
Preventing back pain when shopping starts before you leave your house. In fact, there are two things you’ll want to make sure you do before you head off on your shopping excursion – declutter your purse/wallet and pick a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes. A stuffed wallet (when seated) or a heavy purse can be burdensome to your spine because they throw off weight distribution. Take only one or two credit cards and some cash and leave the rest at home. As for your shoes, high heels or pointy toed shoes can stress our feet and lead to people compensating by adjusting their gait. This can affect both your hips and spine. So before you head out, lighten your load and don a comfy pair of flat shoes!
When you get to the stores, grab a cart or a basket if possible. Even if you don’t plan on purchasing a number of items, a basket or a cart will ensure you’re not hauling heavy supplies under one arm while you’re walking about the store. After your items are bagged up, put some bags in each arm to aid in weight distribution. If one arm is overloaded with weight, you’re going to slump to one side or strain your back muscles to keep supporting that arm. Aim for even distribution, and if you have more shopping to get done, run the bags out to the car and drop them off so you don’t have to stress your back by hauling them around all day.
If you’re trying to get your whole holiday wish list checked off in one day, odds are you’re going to be walking around for hours. Walking and carrying bags will stress your spine, so some experts advise going shopping earlier in the day when your spine is less stressed from your daily activities. However, no matter when you decide to go shopping, always factor in some time for a break. Even if it’s just 10 minutes to sit down and sip on a cup of coffee, your back and body will appreciate the rest. If you’re shopping with friends or family, suggest a quick snack in the food court or a short break on a bench to help give your spine a short break.
Finally, one last thing to keep in mind is to avoid doing too many activities in one day. It may not be possible to do all your holiday shopping in one day if you’re recovering from disc surgery, or to hunch over a table and wrap all those presents after a long day at the mall. You can always go out on another day or wrap presents one night during the week when the family is out. Holiday shopping may not seem like a time when our backs are in jeopardy of being injured, but it can happen if you don’t plan ahead or make smart decisions. Keep these tips in mind as you check off your holiday wish list this season, and you’ll help protect your spine as you shop!