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FED: Bad backs, disease, cheap meals: Bring on Valentine's Day

By Vincent Morello
13 Feb 2009 2:38 PM
Subject: FED: Bad backs, disease, cheap meals: Bring on Valentine's Day FED: Bad backs, disease, cheap meals: Bring on Valentine's Day

SYDNEY, Feb 13 AAP - Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but who cares if your luck's in the very next day - Valentine's Day?

And should you get really lucky on Saturday, you could end up celebrating what is also National Condom Day in a way that the manufacturers would approve of heartily.

Not since 2004 has Valentine's Day fallen on a Saturday and been preceded by Friday the 13th.

Valentine's Day could mean expensive dinners, pricey roses and bittersweet chocolates, but chiropractors warn it can also mean injury.

"Lover's lumbar" and "shagger's back" are common vertebral stress injuries that people in pain do not necessarily allude to when they seek out a health professionals.

The Chiropractor's Association of Australia (NSW) said only one in 10 patients admit sex was the cause of their back injury.

"For instance, a recent patient, crippled with back pain, described his injury as being caused by 'mowing the lawn'," association president Bryce Conrad said in a statement.

"He was treated, only to return a week later after 'whipper-snippering' but this time accompanied by his blushing young bride who indicated the real nature of the injury."

Mr Conrad said Valentine's Day lovers should ensure they have a firm mattress and don't shy away from a bit of variety.

"Listen to your body and to your partner," he said.

"Try a range of positions until you find one that works for both of you."

Valentine's Day also happens to be National Condom Day.

Hunter New England Health director of sexual health Dr Treeny Ooi warns that sexually-active singles should wear more than just their heart on their sleeve.

"You may be going out with friends or to a party, protect yourself and carry some condoms - you never can tell what the night may bring," Dr Ooi said.

"No Valentine deserves to be given an STI (sexually-transmitted infection)."

If last-minute preparations on the day involve finding someone via the internet, the computer security industry warns of identity thieves capitalising on singles' good intentions.

"Using adult and dating websites or social networking applications is risky business," PC Tools vice-president Michael Greene said in a statement.

"Cyber criminals can easily access personal details such as your date of birth on your social networking profile for fraudulent purposes like identity theft or financial fraud."

High technology also means no longer hiding behind a bland text message when asking someone to be your valentine or telling a partner what they mean to you.

Telstra is expecting a 40 per cent increase in photo messaging in the lead-up to Valentine's Day and expects many people will also use video calls to make contact.

Telstra recommends Casanovas first rehearse their lines before making a love call, dress appropriately and use technology to present themselves well.

"Position the camera higher to disguise double chins, lower to gloss over receding hairlines, or try to a long shot if you're likely to flush with embarrassment," a statement from Telstra said.

Business information analysts IBISWorld say tough economic times mean couples are expected to replace pricier gifts such as jewellery and lingerie with a simple box of chocolates and a card.

They will forgo a dozen red roses for a single stem, and try to come up with inexpensive ways to celebrate, such as cooking a romantic meal at home rather than splashing out on an expensive restaurant meal.

The Australian Florists and Allied Trades Association says the heatwave that seared South Australia and Victoria has reduced the February rose cut, but enough will be available on Saturday.

Red will be the hot colour but expect to pay between $80 and $120 a dozen, packaging included.

Top locations for romantic Valentine Day moments include Melbourne's Yarra River and the St Kilda foreshore, according to a poll by websites Whereis.com and Citysearch.com.

For Sydney, top spots include the Royal Botanic Gardens and Centennial Park and in Brisbane the South Bank and the Stamford Plaza Hotel are among the favourites.

AAP vpm/wjf/it/mn=0A

FED: Bad backs, disease, cheap meals: Bring on Valentine's Day