If you are like many women, your handbag is more than just a just a fashion accessory. You store everything you could possibly need inside of it, for events ranging from going to work or dining out to a trip to the zoo with the kids you love. Handbags are filled with possibly hundreds of things, including cellphones, wallets, hand lotion, cosmetics, first aid kits, laptops, snacks, water bottles, medication or vitamins – and the list goes on. Could it be that your heavy handbag could be wreaking havoc on your back?
Nearly 80 percent of the US population is expected to have some form of back pain at some point in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association. The strain we put on our bodies from our oversized handbags can contribute to this back pain epidemic, if you will. Long-term issues may also result, such as pinched nerves or muscle spasms.
If you experience pain in your back, shoulder, buttock or arm or even tingling in your hands, your handbag may be to blame. Below are some of the reasons why your handbag could be causing you pain and how you can prevent further pain or injury to your spine.
Your Bag is Too Heavy
Filling your bag for every worst-case-scenario situation you can imagine has its advantages. After all, you may be the only person at a party with a butterfly bandage or tweezers or a wine bottle opener, but it has some major disadvantages as well, such as the endless stress it puts on your body. By carrying such a heavy bag at an awkward angle can cause your gait (the way your arms and legs swing when you walk) to become out of balance.
The best way to ensure that your back pain (or any other associated pain) gets better and to prevent further injury is to lighten your load. Reduce the weight of your tote until it is light enough that you don’t have any strain from carrying it.
You are One-Sided
Many of us carry things with one specific arm most of the time. If you wear your heavy purse on the same shoulder all of the time, it can cause you shoulder to row forward and down, which leads to stretching of the muscles in the neck and upper back. This can lead to problems like weak muscles and other conditions, such as thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition associated with numbness or tingling in your hands as well as pain in your shoulders, neck and arms. Contacting your chiropractor in Tucker, GA to discuss your health care options is a wise choice.
Your Bag is Not Supportive
While handbags and totes often lead to tension, backpacks can help to relieve them because they distribute weight evenly and properly when worn correctly (on both shoulders). If you don’t want to carry a backpack around, consider getting a handbag that has strong grips with added padding that helps to reduce muscle strain. Skip totes that have skinny straps that will also hurt your shoulder and muscles.
Bad Posture from Your Heavy Handbag
Over time, your heavy handbag can lead to back pain and shoulder pain, as well as other conditions, such as bad posture. Difficulty standing and walking can cause you to walk in such a way that can contribute to bad posture, which can also lead to more back pain, thus the cycle continues.
If you are concerned that your back is struggling because of the handbag you carry (or due to any other cause), reach out to your chiropractor to get your body back into alignment! And consider lightening that load!