Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Is Your Purse Causing Back Pain?

Carrying a purse – of any size – can be a convenient perk. It holds all your things in one, easy-to-find-location, it ensures belongings are organized in close proximity, and you can even use it to stash away smaller purchased items. But no matter the size or weight of your bag, it could actually be causing excess pains. Because of the weight and repetitive nature of carrying a shoulder bag, it’s a practice that might actually cause more harm than good.

Here’s why:

When wearing a purse, the body is lopsided, causing muscles to tighten or strain in certain areas. And the heavier the bag, the more weight it’s pulling on the neck or shoulders. Basically, the more a bag is used, the worse the side effects will become.

This carrying practice also causes the body to walk in an uncomfortable position. Naturally, legs and arms swing to help regulate pace and stride – known as a gait. However, weighing down one-side causes an uneven swing in either the upper or lower sections of the body, if not both. Over time, this can lead to uneven muscles and posture. For instance, one who’s right-handed will keep their purse on the right shoulder, which can mean more developed muscles on that side, less of a swing when walking, and a shoulder that sits higher than the other.

Next comes tightness in the muscles carrying extra weight, or even spasms. The neck, upper, and middle sections of the back can all be affected, suffering bouts of pain or even recurring conditions, such as arthritis. Severe cases of purse-induced pain can even come with tension headaches, which are also brought on by muscle strains, as well as frequent lifting required with purse toting. [Huffington Post]

If you suffer from back pain, it may be time to consider your purse-carrying habits. Lighten the load or talk to your doctor today for healthier walking habits.