Rushing out for the best Black Friday sales can be an exhilarating thrill. However, long hours of walking while carrying heavy bags can take a toll on your back.
“Most Black Friday shoppers wouldn’t consider the health of their back as they hunt for holiday deals,” said Dr. Brian Burrough, an interventional pain management physician and co-founder of Florida Spine Associates. “However, we advise our patients to take precautions to avoid damage to their spine.”
An estimated 15% to 20% of adults experience back pain in a single year. Up to 80% experience back pain in their lifetime. And the holiday shopping sprees can exacerbate those who have back issues.
To avoid back pain on Saturday, follow these tips during Black Friday shopping.
Wear comfortable shoes
Leave the fashionable heels and sandals at home, especially if you’re planning a longer excursion. What may be comfortable for a few minutes will cause you back pain the longer you shop.
Opt for comfortable shoes like sneakers designed for walking. The best shoes will provide optimal support for your whole foot, which in turn supports your back.
Bring a small purse or a fanny pack
Reduce the weight on your shoulders with a small purse packed as lightly as possible. Bigger purses weigh down your shoulders unevenly, causing pain as the day wears on. Better yet, carry your essentials in a fanny pack. Fanny packs evenly distribute weight across your pelvis, avoiding damage to your spine. Plus, they free up your hands for browsing!
Drop off bags between trips
As you gather shopping bags in your hunt through the mall, take trips back to the car to unload. The more bags you carry, the more uneven pressure you’re placing on your spine. If shopping at a larger mall, consider driving to main entry points to limit the distance you need to carry unwieldy bags.
Go shopping in a group
If time is of the essence, shop with a group so you can share the responsibility of carrying precious gifts. Divide the bags evenly among each other to lighten the load. One member of the party can also make a run to the car as the others continue on in their search for the perfect toy.
Take a break
Plan for regular breaks during your shopping excursions. Make the experience memorable with some time to sip on your favorite coffee while you rest your feet — and your back.
If you’re a die-hard Black Friday shopper, we know you’ll be up in the wee hours of the morning. Plan a mid-shopping breakfast break rather than eating between locations. The break to refuel will give you energy and a chance for your back to recover.
Bonus tip: Participate in Cyber Monday
Avoid the long hours and the heavy bags entirely! Your holiday shopping can be done entirely from the comfort of your home thanks to online versions of Black Friday sales or comparable discounts on Cyber Monday. Just remember to take time away from sitting to walk outdoors or stretch in a restorative yoga practice.
Regardless of the precautions you take, back pain may occur. If you experience any discomfort as you hunt for the right gifts for your loved ones, book an appointment with us immediately. We offer a range of holistic pain management and treatments to address chronic pain.