8 Ways to Prevent Pain During Holiday Shopping

Treat holiday shopping as an athletic event to prevent pain. Chiropractors offer 8 tips for staying safe and healthy.

The holiday season may not bring thoughts of aches and pains to mind, but as Black Friday nears, the American Chiropractic Association encourages the public to approach holiday shopping with the same care they would for an athletic event in order to prevent strain.

“Our bodies have the capacity to do a little more than we normally do,” said Scott Bautch, DC, of ACA’s Council on Occupational Health in a press release. “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.”

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Here are 8 tips you can provide your patients with to help them stay happy and healthy during holiday shopping this season.

1. Stay hydrated. Suggest drinking 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and maybe even more on shopping days. Drinks like coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcohol are dehydrators and won’t act as substitutes.

2. Take frequent breaks. During a day of heavy shopping, most people should take a break every 45 minutes. Some with less stamina may need to take more frequent breaks.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. Hard shopping mall floors can hurt feet. Recommend wearing shoes with plenty of cushion in the soles to absorb the impact — not high heels.

4. Wear layers. Suggest wearing layers to stay warm. Clothing should be as comfortable as possible.

5. Pack light. Huge shoulder bags should be left at home. Recommend packing only the essentials in something like a light fanny pack or a light backpack.

6. Treat pain when it starts. If a patient starts to feel pain, have them seek treatment it before it gets worse.

7. Wrap gifts in a comfortable position. Wrapping gifts while sitting on a hard floor can hurt posture. Suggest alternating positions every now and then by standing at a table or countertop for one gift, sitting on a bed for another, sitting in a comfortable chair for another, etc.

8. Stretch before and after wrapping gifts. Recommend stretching the opposite way after using muscles. For example, leaning backwards after leaning forward. 


Holiday Shopping Shouldn’t Be a Pain in the Neck or Back. 2015. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA). https://www.acatoday.org/press_css.cfm?CID=635. Accessed November 25, 2015.