Black Friday Shopping Guide for Your Neck & Back

Authored by: Dr. Thomas Schuler

Holiday shopping for family and friends can be stressful; you try to pick out the perfect present for everyone, while trying to make sure it’s something they don’t already have. The gifts on our VSI holiday shopping list are much welcomed upgrades for everyday items that will help with avoiding neck & back pain. With almost 80% of adults experiencing back pain in their lives, you can’t go wrong with any of these as presents!

Holiday Gift List to Avoid Neck & Back Pain

Pillow with Cervical Support
It is critical to maintain the body’s natural posture when you sleep. Look for a pillow with a cutout in the middle, allowing your neck to keep its curve backwards as opposed to one that forces your neck too high or is too flat on the bed.

Ergonomic Office Chair
With so many people working from home, and plans to continue to do so once the pandemic is over, this is the best time to treat them to a new office chair. Find one that allows you to choose the lumbar support and height of the chair, these two features will really help their workspace ergonomics.

Chair Lumbar Support
Whether it’s for an office chair or a chair in the family room, lumbar support can help keep your lower back in the natural curve while sitting for long periods of time. 

Travel Neck Pillow
Neck pillows can be used for more than just airline flights. With more and more road trips happening this year, a neck pillow can be great for those traveling long distances by car.

Laptop Stand / Monitor Riser
We’re all using computers more now than ever. Between working from home, online shopping, and researching new places to go & activities to do during social distancing, it’s important to protect ourselves from ‘Tech Neck.’ Getting a laptop stand or monitor riser will alleviate stress on your neck, and allow you to gain better ergonomics and posture while sitting at the computer.

Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mat
With the popularity of cooking and baking during the pandemic, an anti fatigue kitchen mat will do wonders for someone spending lots of time in the kitchen. These are designed to provide foot support with a cushion that is made for comfort. Once you try this out, you’ll want one for the whole family!  

Shoes (Dress & Casual)
Everyone loves a good pair of new shoes! Look for a pair that has memory foam built in. Memory foam helps absorb the shock and reduces the stress on your spine, and can promote better posture.

Snow Shovel / Blower
Snow shoveling is a very rigorous task. It involves a lot of bending, twisting, and heavy lifting that puts strain on your back. An ergonomic snow shovel allows the person shoveling to get a better position when pushing and lifting the snow, thus reducing the stress on their back. And a snow blower, when used correctly, can reduce even more strain and stress.

Look for luggage pieces that have rolling wheels, especially the 360° wheels where you can keep the suitcase upright while you walk. This helps relieve the imbalance of lugging a suitcase behind you. If you choose something without wheels, smaller bags are better — the bigger it is, the more stress you put on your body when having to carry or lift it. 

Water Bottle
The discs in our spine are made up of 88% water. To keep your body hydrated and functioning at its best, having a good water bottle is very important. Water bottles with timestamps or measurements on the side are very helpful, as are well insulated ones for those that like ice cold water.

Small Kitchen Appliances for Food Prep
Any kitchen appliance that helps eliminate the strain of overworking your back while cooking is great. Items like mixers, food processors, and smaller gadgets that shorten the prep time will be well received. When we have to do the same repetitive motion over and over, and most of the time doing so with poor posture, it leaves us vulnerable to back and neck injuries. 

This holiday season we should focus on improving our health and wellbeing, while also helping those around us do the same. This gift guide will help you give useful presents, and hopefully allow your friends and family to avoid the neck and back pain so many adults go through. But if you, or anyone in your close circle, does fall victim to the unfortunate statistic, our spine specialized team at VSI is here for you. We can help you pinpoint your pain, and get you back to a fulfilling life through a customized treatment plan. 

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