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Holiday Shopping: Score the Deals, Not the injuries.

11/24/14 5:12 PM

HDTV’s, laptops, clothes…the amazing deals of Black Friday are upon us, and with all of this comes some potential pain too! While you are busy shopping and taking advantage of all the great deals, we often forget about ourselves and what we are doing to our bodies. Here are some quick tips to help you come out of Black Friday with only financial pain…

Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint! Black Friday is a daylong event and you need to pace yourself. This means you will want to sit and take rests as needed, especially those of you with arthritis in the back who may have increased pain with walking and standing. 


 

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Between each store....

Find a bench to pull over and take a 5-10 minute rest. 


Have arthritis of the low back? 

Sitting and bending forward will give you a great stretch. You can do this exercise 10 times - holding for a few seconds at the bottom while taking that rest break.


We all know long lines are a given on Black Friday, while you're waiting...

  • Stand with your weight evenly distributed over both legs. We all tend to lean toward one side, and this can often lead to pain and cause a muscle imbalance, especially when doing this for long periods. Try to make sure that your weight is even over both legs so that forces are distributed equally.
  • Don’t lock your knees out! Stand with your knees slightly bent instead. Some people tend to lock their knees into full extension (completely straight) and what this does is put a lot of stress on the ligaments of the knees. Standing with a slight bend in the knees will activate the quad and core muscles, in turn sparing the ligaments and decreasing pain.



In the midst of all the shopping you are bound to have to pick up, lift, and even carry items of different shapes, sizes and weights. Reduce pain and likelihood of injury while doing it...

  • Engage your core! Before you do any functional activity you always want the core engaged. This allows the spine to be stabilized while you complete the activity, decreasing the likelihood of injury to your back.
  • Bending with the legs, not the back, as you bend over to grab something from down low. This will allow you to engage your leg and core muscles more and spare your back.
  • As you lift, keep the object close to your body. The further away the object you are holding is from your body, the more compressive load is placed on the spine and in turn the more pain you will have.


We hope these quick tips help you get through Black Friday. If you happen to come out of it with any aches and pains give us a call to stop in and see one of our physical therapists. We will perform a comprehensive, one-on-one initial evaluation to determine the root of your problem and prescribe a specific, individualized exercise program.

Written by Jeffrey Romans.

Jeff Romans, PT is a contributing author to our blog and a great resource on Physical Therapy.

Topics: Low back pain, arthritis, back pain, exercises