Every New Year, our clinics see dozens of new and existing patients whose Christmases have been ruined by musculoskeletal pain, most of which could have been prevented – it isn't just a pain in the neck, we see backs, shoulders, knees, hips and a host of other problems at this time of the year.
There are a number of factors that lead to the upsurge in cases during December – starting with the dreaded Christmas shopping – a phrase that we all know can sometimes mean different things to different genders.
Everybody is familiar with the stereotypes: women make multiple forays into town to accumulate gifts for children, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews breaking only for regular cappuccinos; blokes stick their head in the sand whilst getting privately stressed and grumpy, then rely on a mad dash sometime late on Christmas Eve.
There is, of course, a compromise to be struck: loath though I am to lift a finger towards Christmas until Advent is upon us, if I see a gift that fits the bill perfectly, I don’t let the fact that it’s still only November prevent me from buying it … and that’s our first tip to avoid injury: buying in smaller quantities prevents overloading muscles, joints and ligaments.
If, however, you are going in for a major shop then it’s a good time to forget about those 10,000 steps a day and park as close as you can to the shops and make regular trips back to the car to drop off bags before they become too heavy or awkward.
A couple of breaks for a sit-down and a warming, re-hydrating cuppa can also help take the strain off shopping-weary backs –as far as your spine and pelvis are concerned, there is a huge difference between walking at a constant regular cadence, and shuffling through the start-stop of shops: so start with a plan rather than wandering aimlessly, it will mean less time on your feet and less strain on your joints … tempting though it is to search out the best bargains, looking at the same item in half a dozen different stores adds mileage and any savings need to be offset again extra parking time… and a visit to a chiropractor if you’ve overdone it! Five minutes preparation before you leave the house can also be worth a ton of cure:
• Wear comfortable, well fitting, shoes.
– ‘Air soles’ help take strain off backs as well as feet whilst you’re pounding the pavements.
• Don’t bring any unnecessary things with you before you start shopping
– You’ll have plenty to carry, so start light.
• Think about how you’re going to transport stuff.
– Can you use a backpack? http://tiny.cc/2ybcpy
– Carry shopping bags equally on both sides so you’re balanced.
– If it’s heavy, can you get it delivered?
• Mind your posture!
– Don’t let your shoulders slump: walk tall with your shoulders back.
• If something does go wrong…
– We have six chiropractors ready to spring into action
– We are always happy to see someone before anything major goes
wrong, so why not get a winter check-up – an ounce of
prevention can be worth a ton of cure!