Holiday Gift Ideas

Throughout the year, we often get asked what products we recommend to prevent back pain. I always recommend products or activities that increase movement. Motion is the key to life and encouraging your loved ones to move is giving them the greatest gift of all. Here is my list of top items by age group:

Babies and toddlers: Find toys that encourage “tummy time”! Too often little ones are confined to car seats, walkers or swings, which prohibit spinal development. Tummy time is critical in the early years for the babies spine to develop proper curvature. Sample gift ideas include: rolling drum toy or play mat.

Elementary aged children: Toys that encourage large motor movement are critical during this stage. Students are spending more time on devices and computers even during school instruction. It is important for kids to move and remain active. Adopt the idea that “motion is life” and embrace the fun of movement as a family! Sample gift ideas include: Twister game or kite for flying outdoors.

Middle school children: This is where the sedentary lifestyle truly starts to set in…and motion again is key. It is important to find ways to minimize the time this age group is glued to video games, tablets, and cell phones. Young patients tell me about neck and back pain from a very young age and I have witnessed how increased screen time is contributing to their pain. They are spending too much time looking down on a cell phone or playing video games. Children at this age are still developing and it is important to keep them moving. Sample gift ideas include: a Pogo stick, a timer for their electronics, or consider an experiential gifts, such as an Ultimate Ninja gift card, Rock Climbing gift card, or an activity class like swimming, dance, karate.

College aged: This age group is all about trying to minimize bad habits. They are also responsible for their own food choices by this age, which frequently results in fast food and late night snacking. I like to find gifts that encourage balancing out the negative habits these lifestyle choices promote: bad posture and poor food choices. Sample gift ideas include: ergonomic desk chair, a laptop stand, vegetable noodle maker, gift cards to health food stores, subscription to a monthly snack delivery, such as Graze or Naturebox.

Mom and dad: Stress relief is a big concern for this age group. As parents, we often put our kids first and don’t take time for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate. We live in a constant state of stress and inadequate sleep. I highly encourage gifts that promote self-care and healthy lifestyle habits, like hydration, exercise, and relaxation. Sample gift ideas include: a lumbar support pillow for the carpooling hours, a water bottle or travel mug with decaffeinated tea set, a trigger point massage stick, or massage balls to roll out tired necks and feet.

Grandma and grandpa: Motion is key! Get them out of the rocking chairs and make them move. There are many great classes that are geared towards this age group. Check out their local park district catalog or senior center for a list of activities in their area. Classes such as yoga, swimming, dancing, or a walking club are a perfect way to make motion a social activity. If a class is not suitable for them, try a DVD or cable On Demand that encourages movement in their home. Remember when Wii Fit was all the rage? Instead of having it sit in storage, bring it out for grandma and grandpa to use. With its user-friendly technology, it might be a fun way to keep them moving! Sample gift ideas include: park district or senior center class enrollment, workout DVD, or Wii Fit gaming system.

Suitable for all age groups: Chiropractic is my #1 suggestion! Posture is permanent and the choices we make each day contribute to our long-term health and wellness. No matter the age, Chiropractic can help keep you moving and feeling great. And when you feel good you are truly living life!

Here are some additional suggestions that could work for many age groups:

  • Yoga ball: We spend long hours hunched over computers and devices during the day. Try laying backwards over a yoga ball to stretch your spine in the opposite direction, which is an excellent stretch for any age.
  • Foam roller: They are among the most versatile and easy to use tools to help with rebuilding muscle strength and tone, as well as improving balance and coordination. They come in a variety of lengths and firmness, depending upon their intended use. There are even small, hand-held rollers that can be used on the neck, shoulders, and arms.
  • Body pillow: I hear “I think I slept funny” on an almost daily basis from patients! A body pillow helps keep your spine in a neutral position while you sleep, especially for side sleepers. Plus the added benefit of a warm hug all night is comforting for anyone!
  • EMF shields: Relatively new, but very important, the concept of electromotive force (EMF) is constantly around us. We are on cellphones, computers, smartwatches, Fitbits, and WiFi all-day long. These devices emit radiation and there is not much research on how it will affect us long term. There are new products called EMF shields that can create a barrier, which helps minimize exposure when possible. I’ve seen them come in simple stickers or attachments that you can put on your cellphone, tablet, or laptop.

Happy holidays! If you have questions about our product recommendations or you would like to learn more about the gift of Chiropractic, please contact us at 630-262-1421 (phone or text) or info@hartchiropractic.com.

Dr. Matthew Hart, DC

DISCLAIMER: The information in this list is designed to provide helpful information on the subject discussed.  This list is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition.  For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your physician.  The publisher and author are not responsible for any specific health needs that may require medical supervision and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation, to any person reading or following the information in this post.  References are provided for informational purpose only and do not constitute endorsement of any website, products, or other sources.  Readers should be aware that the websites listed may change.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this list is designed to provide helpful information on the subject discussed. This list is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your physician. The publisher and author are not responsible for any specific health needs that may require medical supervision and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation, to any person reading or following the information in this post. References are provided for informational purpose only and do not constitute endorsement of any website, products, or other sources. Readers should be aware that the websites listed may change.

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