Prevent Back Pain During Holiday Shopping
Holiday shopping is said to burn 1500 calories per trip, so it can be as harsh on your body as it is on your bank account. There are 12000 ER visits caused by activities of the season every year. 10% of them are caused by back strain, and 34% are related to falls. Keep your shopping trips safe and injury-free with these tips:
Keep a Light Purse and Slim Wallet
You probably know you need to empty out your purse before a long shopping trip, but your wallet can cause as many back problems as the weight you carry. Keeping an overloaded wallet in your back pocket can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain. Keep your cards and license in a front pocket and wear a purse diagonally over your chest.
Most acute back pain is caused by overstretching and accidents, so save your Christmas shopping for times when you’re alert. Making your shopping trips when you're alert will also help you stay attentive to traffic and avoid injuries caused by road crashes and near misses.
Balance Your Load
Carry your shopping bags in such a way that weight is evenly distributed on both sides of your body. Better yet, use a shopping cart. Bring your own sturdy, comfortable bags instead of using the ones from stores.
Learn Healthy Lifting Habits
Don’t bend at the waist, as this places weight on your spine. Instead, use your legs and arms where possible, keeping any weight focused on the top of the spine. Make use of railings and handholds where possible, and if you experience pain, respect your need for rest.
If you’ve just woken up or are going shopping after spending hours at a desk, do some simple stretches before you go shopping. Don’t neglect your neck, hamstrings, and lower back.
Finally, don't forget to stay hydrated. The holidays are supposed to be a festive time, so make sure your shopping trip leaves you energized and ready to celebrate the season pain-free.