An afternoon spent browsing some of your favorite shops, exploring new stores, and finding great treasures. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But are you paying for it at the end of the day? The reality is that too much shopping could be causing your lower back spine pain. Here’s what to look out for.
When you shop, what kind of purse or handbag do you take with you? Is it huge and filled with your entire world? That could be the source of your lower back spine pain. Actually, according to the American Chiropractic Association, it could be causing pain from your neck and shoulder all down your back. Their recommendation is to keep your purse under 10 percent of your body weight—when filled.
Carrying too many shopping bags may also be an issue. If you’re concentrating the bags on one side of your body, you could be throwing off your balance. Not only can this be dangerous because you will have a greater chance of falling and injuring yourself, but you could be putting strain on your back, neck, and shoulder. If you must shop till you drop, so to speak, at least remember to distribute the bags evenly to protect yourself from lower back spine pain.
The wrong shoes
You might be surprised at how much walking you’re actually doing when you’re out shopping. You could easily get in a couple of thousand steps without even realizing it. Want to know for sure? Wear a fitness tracker while shopping and you’ll see that your wallet isn’t the only thing getting a workout.
But, just like you wouldn’t wear a pair of Jimmy Choo’s to the gym, you may want to reconsider your footwear when you’re shopping. Those boots are cute, but how comfortable are they, really? All that walking could do damage to your feet and ankles if your shoes don’t fit all that well, aren’t supportive, and aren’t made for this type of activity. And, they can also be a cause of lower back spine pain. High heels and flip-flops are two common culprits, and they’re not alone.
“Both lead to foot instability, which can in turn affect your back,” said Prevention. “High heels force you to arch your back, making your spinal muscles work harder. And shoes without a back “like sandals cause your feet to move from side to side.” That can create pain via an uneven distribution of weight.
Not eating or drinking
If you get carried away with your shopping and forget to take care of your body by giving it fuel, you may start to feel dizzy or nauseous, which could also cause a fall. It’s not uncommon to forget to eat and drink when you’re out enjoying a shopping excursion, especially if you’re having fun with friends. Experts recommend building in time for a meal if you’re out for several hours to make sure your blood sugar stays stable. Dehydration can also be a leading cause of lower back spine pain, so you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on how much water you’re drinking, especially if you’re out for an extended period of time.
“Chronic dehydration can cause muscle spasms,” said Livestrong. “When dehydrated, muscles don’t have the sodium, magnesium, potassium and other electrolytes necessary to carry on the metabolic activity and can cause the muscle to spasm.” Drinking plenty of water may also help to avoid conditions like a degenerative disc.
If you overdo it while shopping and need to seek treatment for back pain that won’t go away or is worsening, it might be time to find a back doctor. Advances in minimally invasive treatments means treating chronic back pain is easier than ever. Between outpatient treatments and minimally invasive surgical procedures using small incisions, you can expect a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.