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When Christmas Shopping Becomes a Pain in the Neck (or back or foot)!

Some of us will have already begun our Christmas shopping, hoping to avoid the ensuing chaos the festive season brings. It is also around this time when our Clinic begins to see the annual Christmas shopping -ankle, -low back, and -knee injuries! Most will try and blame Guildford’s ever-inclining cobbled High Street. It’s a bit more complicated than that.

We have compiled a list of tips to help you get your shopping done without straining yourself or creating injury.

  1. Make Your list and Check it Twice Before venturing out into the mayhem, make a plan of which shops you’re going to visit and in what order. This sounds excessive, I know, but remember Christmas shopping is much more of a mission than just choosing a nice outfit for Saturday night.
  1. Santa’s Helpers Recruit a helper or two (a spouse, best friend, son or daughter) to split the list and plan to meet for a coffee or lunch half-way. Shopping with a friend often makes the whole experience much less stressful. Note I said often, not always!

  2. Wear Proper Shoes! It amazes me how many ladies do their Christmas shopping in heels! Your knees and ankles will quickly complain when queuing for the tills if your shoes aren’t suitable. Trainers are ideal, but anything that is comfortable and supportive will do. If you wear orthotics/insoles make sure you’re using them. Wearing comfortable shoes may help you shop for longer and reduce the possibility of nasty issues like blisters, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and painful calves.

  3. Mind your loads Christmas gifts can be heavy. If at all possible, plan for heavier presents to be delivered to your home. When carrying bags, distribute the weight evenly on both sides of your body. Don’t put any unnecessary loads through your spine – I promise you, your spinal muscles, joints and discs will really appreciate it.

  4. Pace yourself Don’t feel the need to complete all your shopping in one go. It’s not hard to exhaust yourself. Be careful as this increases the risk of injury.If you plan in advance, you’ll be able to do it more at your own leisure, 1-2 hours at a time over a few visits. However, if you are last minute shopper and like to get everything done in one go, be sure to take regular breaks every 90-minutes or so. The park by the castle grounds is a great spot!

  5. Stay hydrated With plenty of alcohol consumption over the festive period, it’s easy to get caught up with dehydration. Drink plenty of water, ideally 2-3 litres a day to maintain healthy digestion and supple joints and muscles.

  6. Online Shopping Hazards It’s simple to think that avoiding the High Street madness by doing all your Christmas shopping online is injury risk free. Unfortunately, postural induced back and neck pain is rife this time of year simply because many of us will spend hours behind a screen. Don’t spend more than 45-minutes at a time at your PC/laptop/tablet. Get up, move around and warm up your muscles and joints again. The increased blood flow and nerve stimulation will help keep these areas healthy.

Rest assured, that most niggles and pains developed throughout the festive season should resolve themselves when everything returns to normal in the New Year. If however, you find that you’ve overdone it by; shopping for too many hours; moving furniture to fit around the Christmas day table; or tumbled off a stool whilst placing the star on the Christmas tree, just know that Guildford Chiropractic Centre is back open 2nd January 2019.

Wishing all the members of our community a wonderful Christmas and a happy healthy New Year 2019.


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