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How to Navigate Holiday Shopping Pain & Stress

The holiday shopping Olympics is in full swing! And shopping until you drop, literally, may not be ideal for your back, neck or other extremities. In fact, there are tons of sneaky ways that holiday shopping can cause, contribute to or exacerbate different types of pain. Before you venture out into the chaos that is holiday shopping, let’s talk through some common shopping mistakes that can contribute to back, neck and extremity pain, and ways you can avoid them.

Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles and proper arch support.

This is super important, since holiday shopping is a lot of walking around on flat, hard surfaces for hours at a time—especially concrete, which offers little support and can take a toll on your ankles, knees, low back and much more. Supportive shoes with proper cushioning will help absorb the impact of walking.

Make sure to stretch before and after!

Treat shopping like working out—your muscles need to warm up. This will help you not only minimize aches and pains, but also increase flexibility. Make sure to drink a good amount of water after each stretching session to rehydrate those muscles!

Take a break every 30-45 minutes.

It’s hard to stop when you’ve got your head in the holiday shopping game, but you’re body needs rest! Set an alarm on your phone reminding yourself to take a break every 30-45 minutes. This will lessen stress on your body, and give you time to decompress, drink some water and get away from those stifling crowds.

Make frequent trips back to your car.

Carrying loads of bags at one time can open you up to a whole variety of different back, shoulder and neck pain, or can cause injury. Also, the unequal distribution of weight on one side of your body can throw off your balance and negatively impact your spine and hips. Make frequent trips back to your car (or a shopping locker, if available!) as much as possible.

Don’t over-exert yourself!

We know you’re on a mission, but don’t put your body in situations that it’s not normally in. If you can’t reach something, don’t balance on your tiptoes with your hands above your head. If you can’t lift something, ask a friend or maybe even a store employee to help you carry it to your car. Asking more of your body than it’s used to providing (especially if you don’t know the proper techniques!) can open you up to a world of accidental hurt.

And remember, it’s important to get those gifts, but it’s even more important that you take care of yourself, because you deserve a fun, pain-free holiday.

Posture, posture, posture!

Ask your chiropractor about the best ways to improve and maintain your walking posture this holiday season.