It’s hard to believe Black Friday is just around the corner! That means it’s almost time for some serious shopping.
Unfortunately, I always get a few patients that end up with new or worsening Back Pain from their Black Friday shopping spree.
So today I want to share some tips to help you avoid Back Pain with your holiday shopping.
Why does shopping cause Back Pain in the first place?
BEING ON YOUR FEET TOO LONG
If you’re not accustomed to being on your feet, walking around for hours and standing in long checkout lines will inevitably cause some pain and discomfort in your back, legs and feet.
Black Friday shopping can often add up to several miles of walking. If your body isn’t physically prepared for this, you should expect to have some very sore muscles for a few days at a minimum, but you will also be at a higher risk for injury.
When your muscles are deconditioned and fatigued from hours of shopping sometimes all it takes is “one wrong move”. A slight twist, bending over or getting out of the car and suddenly you have a sharp pain or spasm in your back.
If you’re not physically conditioned to walk and stand for hours while shopping, it’s not too late!
Start preparing now…
Get on the treadmill, walk around your neighborhood or better yet go to the mall and start walking – while you’re at it you can get some ideas to add to your wish list.
A short daily walk over the next two weeks can go a long way in improving your Black Friday shopping readiness and preventing an injury.
Improper lifting is probably the most common problem that causes Back Pain from shopping. Lifting that box off from the bottom shelf, leaning over shopping carts, carrying heavy shopping bags and loading or unloading the trunk of the car – all of this, plus the fatigue from being on your feet for hours is a perfect recipe for a back injury.
Being mindful to squat down to lift that box off the bottom shelf and tightening your abdominal muscles to support your back when leaning over a shopping cart will help protect your back.
When carrying heavy shopping bags try to distribute the weight equally in both hands. This helps to keep your back in a neutral position, which will reduce any strain on your back.
Use caution when loading or unloading those bags of bargains from your trunk or back seat. Get as close as you possibly can to the edge of your trunk and carefully pull the item as close to you as possible before attempting to lift it. Be sure to keep your back straight, your abdominal muscles tight and use your strong leg muscles when lifting. This will significantly reduce any chance of injuring your back.
STRETCH WHEN YOU’RE DONE...EVEN IF YOUR BACK DOESN’T HURT
You survived the crowds, saved a lot of money with the fantastic Black Friday deals and walked away with some amazing gifts for your family and friends…and maybe even a little something for yourself!
You’ve been up since 3:00 am and at this point you are exhausted!
Trust me I get it - but don’t collapse on the couch and snuggle under the covers just yet.
Take a few minutes to stretch some of your tired and overworked muscles first – just like you would (or should) if you just finished a training run or worked out at the gym. This will help ease any muscle tension, will aid in recovery and ensure you have a better chance of getting up off that couch without Back Pain when you wake up.
Stay Safe & Happy Shopping!
If you have any questions or concerns about Back Pain – or any other pain for that matter...
Give us a call at 503-744-0046 to see how we can help.
"Helping active adults overcome persistent aches, pains and injuries, so they can get back to the activities they love and improve their health naturally - without pain medication, injections or surgery."
Oregon City, OR
Dr. Julie Krueger