The bag you casually throw over one shoulder could be hurting your spine, altering your gait, and causing back, neck and shoulder pain.
For many of you this may have been a lifelong habit, and perhaps one that you haven’t given much thought to, but it can lead to serious issues for your body.
As fashion collides with convenience, large handbags come ready to carry numerous items, from laptops and phones to cosmetics and drink bottles. Each item adds additional weight, creating imbalance and strain on your body.
When you carry your bag on one side of your body, it immediately creates an imbalance; even a light bag can create a problem. In order to stop the bag from slipping off, one of your shoulders tilts higher than the other one. Over time, this imbalance can create a distortion in your upper back, shoulders and neck, as well as postural alterations throughout your spine. A heavy bag can result in muscle contraction on the side opposite to the bag, and your spine can curve incorrectly to stop you from toppling over.
Choosing a suitable bag is an important first step. Consider switching your handbag for a small backpack, as these evenly distribute the load on both shoulders. There are plenty of chic choices. Opt for equal load distribution, comfortable straps and cushioning between it and your spine.
If you really must have a handbag, carry it in your hand and exchange sides regularly. If, at times you must use your shoulder, try alternating sides. Keep the weight as light as possible and regularly unpack unnecessary items. While it is amazing what you can fit, sometimes it can
be months before you realise that you are carrying around half your house in your bag!
It may seem like such a small thing but correcting this habit can help protect your spine and body from unnecessary stress and pain. So, take the challenge and note over the next few days how you are carrying your handbag. You may be surprised! For a start, avoid hanging it on your shoulder, before too long you will have broken the habit, and be carrying your bag in a healthier way.
Chiropractors play a crucial role with their focus on the health of the spine and correcting postural distortions. They can assess the weight of your bag and evaluate your posture to detect any areas of concern, provide advice, and if necessary, appropriate spinal care.