Is Your Purse Or Backpack Causing Your Back, Neck Or Shoulder Pain?

It is hard to imagine that seemingly simple tasks like carrying your makeup and driver’s license can have adverse effects on your back and neck.

Chiropractors have warned us for years that we all need to not only rethink the way we dress, but the way we carry around our belongings.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many chiropractors counsel parents to help their children carry heavy school backpacks appropriately so that they won't suffer from short-term back pain and even neck pain, or deformed spines that can't be adjusted in the long-term.

But it's not only children who need to be made aware of how to carry their books and other belongings; adults need to learn – or re-learn – these tasks themselves.

Adults are guilty of carrying their belongings in such a way that negatively impacts their bodies, but women are most guilty of carrying purses and backpacks that are so heavy as to rival any high school kid’s carrying case.

Chiropractors strongly urge adults to carry bags that amount to less than 10 percent of their individual body weight. The less weight the better!

So check your bags, handbags, and other carrying devices and leave at home anything and everything that's not absolutely essential.

Carrying your purse or bag over one shoulder can harm your back even more. Ideally, you should carry your belongings in a backpack on your back.

The pack should have wide straps – preferably padded – and not hang more than four inches below your waist.

While this flies in the face of any and every fashion edict, it does go a long way to alleviate shoulder pain, reduce back pain, and prevent injuries.

As a matter of fact, chiropractors point out that from a musculoskeletal perspective, the curvature of the spine changes when a person carries a pack or purse slung over a shoulder.

The shoulder gets lifted up, causing the spine to move up and forward, too, which then affects your gait.

As you can see, there is so much more to carrying your daily necessities than meets the eye.

If you are currently experiencing back pain or neck or shoulder pain, please be certain to make an appointment with your chiropractor and have her or him take a look at your back and perhaps also adjust any vertebrae that may have gone out of alignment.

At the same time, do show your chiropractor the purse or pack you are carrying on a daily basis and ask them to evaluate it. The odds are good that your chiropractor will be able to give you some tips and advice about how to carry around your possessions in a safe and healthy manner.


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Premier Health of Summit is located in Summit, New Jersey, and serves clients throughout central New Jersey and surrounding areas, including New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Chatham, Madison, Florham Park, Springfield, Maplewood, Union, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Ridgewood, Hackensack, Hoboken, Jersey City, Staten Island, Lakewood, Princeton, Lawrenceville, Flemington, Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Mendham, and Clinton as well as Bergen County, Passaic County, Morris County, Essex County, Hunterdon County, Union County, Somerset County, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County.

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