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Holiday Shopping Shouldn't Be a Pain in the Neck or Back, Say Chiropractic Physicians

Holiday Shopping Shouldn't Be a Pain in the Neck or Back, Say Chiropractic Physicians

The holiday season will soon be upon us - and along with it, the aches and pains that result from frenzied holiday shopping. As the day after Thanksgiving - also known as "Black Friday," one of the biggest shopping days of the year - approaches, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) encourages the public to treat holiday shopping as an athletic event to ward off the stress and strain that often accompanies this otherwise joyous season.

"Our bodies have the capacity to do a little more than we normally do," says Scott Bautch, DC, of ACA’s Council on Occupational Health. "But our bodies do not adapt very well to doing a lot more than we normally do. Since the added demands of this season can stress the capacity of our bodies, we need to do everything we can to help ourselves. Eat right, drink plenty of water, stretch, exercise and take a few minutes to slow down and reflect on what the season is all about."

ACA encourages shoppers to consider the following tips to help keep themselves and their loved ones healthy, happy, and safe this holiday season:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. (Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are dehydrators. Don't substitute them for water.) On shopping days, you may need to drink even more water.
  • During a day of heavy shopping, most people should take a break every 45 minutes. Those with less stamina may even need to take breaks more frequently.
  • Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on hard shopping mall floors — not high heels.
  • Make sure your clothing is as comfortable as possible. It's a good idea to wear layers, because you may be going from a cold environment (outdoors) to a warm environment (indoors).
  • Leave the huge shoulder bags at home. Wear a light fanny pack, or if necessary, a light backpack instead. Pack only those items that are absolutely essential such as your wallet, keys, and cell phone.
  • If you start to feel some pain, nip it in the bud. Apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, and then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two.
  • When wrapping gifts, try alternating positions by standing at a table or countertop for one package, sitting on a bed for another, sitting in a comfortable chair for another, etc. Do not wrap packages while sitting on a hard floor. This can wreak havoc on your posture.
  • Always stretch before and after you wrap gifts. Stretch the opposites; if you are leaning forward when wrapping your gifts, stretch backward when you are done.

You can find a doctor of chiropractic near you by visiting www.acatoday.org/findadoc.