Is Your Purse Hurting You in Woodbury MN?

Is Your Purse Hurting You in Woodbury MN?

Chiropractic Woodbury MN Is Your Purse Hurting You

Women almost never go anywhere without their purses. We take them to work, to dinner, to bars, to the mall; they're extensions of ourselves, stuffed full with everything from our wallets, our phones, iPad, umbrella, make-up, book, water bottles, toys, even extra clothes. Our purses in Woodbury MN are our lifelines, but given what they contain, they can also be a source for your aching neck and back.

It is not uncommon to find women carrying around bags weighing more than 15 pounds!

Problems When You Carry A Heavy Purse in Woodbury MN

Your natural gait is thrown off. A consequence of carrying a purse only on one shoulder is that it significantly interferes with your normal gait. The gait is the way your arms and legs swing when you walk naturally, and it's an important way to keep your body balanced. When you put a purse or handbag on one side of the body, it means the arm on that side can't swing properly and the other arm has to swing more.

Your muscles are off balance. Since all of the weight of your purse is on one shoulder, you're carrying an asymmetric load, which throws off your posture. Most people tend to carry purses on their dominant side. With this chronic forcing of the muscles on one side to become more developed than the muscles on the other side and even higher compared to the other side.

This asymmetric load also causes muscles in your spine to compensate for the weight, which can cause the opposite side of the spine to go into spasm. This overcompensation can also affect your lower back and your sacrum, the more asymmetric the load, the more everything below the shoulder will have to work.

You can develop neck and shoulder pain. Some people will develop tension headaches from the muscles being forced to do all of this heavy lifting and will spasm and cause pain in the back of your neck. Usually there is the complaint of a nagging ache that runs down the neck, across the top of the shoulder blade, and over to the arm.

The shoulder carrying the purse is usually elevated and rotated either forward or backwards. The muscles supporting the spine, shoulder and upper back will eventually tire and spasm. Fatigued muscles don't hold the spine correctly, creating poor posture and overloading of the spine joints.

Over time, the joints of the spine wear and this can lead to premature arthritis. Even the discs, the cartilage cushions between the vertebrae, can start to degenerate. If the disc structure deteriorates enough, a painful herniation of the disc can develop.

You can develop hip and leg pain. The body compensates for the altered balance of the gait by taking shorter steps. Couple this altered gait with the extra load placed on the hip and knee joints from the overloaded purse and the legs are working much harder to walk than necessary.

Injuries and pain caused by carrying a too-heavy bag:

  • Increased risk of scoliosis (curvature of the spine) or kyphosis (hunchback) in women with weak bones.
  • Tension headaches caused by pressure on the muscles in the back of the head and shoulders
  • Painful osteoarthritis or full-blown degenerative joint disease in predisposed shoulders
  • Upper-back (trapezius) and neck (cervical paraspinals) muscles become strained from carrying heavy weight in one position over time
  • Numbness and tingling in the arm from nerve microtrauma

The Right Way To Carry A Bag

  1. Switch it up: Carrying a bag on the same side all the time can overwork muscles and permanently corrupt your posture. To prevent this, switch sides every few minutes,
  2. Avoid elbow overload: Hold your bag on your shoulder, not in the crook of your arm. This way you'll avoid elbow injuries like tendinitis.
  3. Wear the bag diagonally: Sling a heavy bag across your body, and adjust the strap to minimize swing. This allows the trunk muscles to carry more of the load, so your lower back is less tired.

Put Your Purse On A Diet

  • Your full purse shouldn't weigh more than 10 percent of your body weight!
  • Wallet: Packed with pennies, credit cards and reward cards, this can easily weigh a pound or more. Go through your wallet every other day to weed out unnecessary things.
  • Key Chains: Weighing up to 2 pounds! They are hooked with everything from photos and Zip drives to pepper spray. Remove any keys and items you don't use on a daily basis.
  • Coupons: Some women were carrying more than a pound of these! Monthly, toss what's expired or unlikely to be used.
  • Make Up: These bags often tip the scales at 2 pounds or more. Choose an all-in-one makeup kit.

What To Look For

Minimal Hardware: Buckles, belts, and other ornaments; a sleeker style automatically lightens your load.

Wide Strap: Look for one that's at least 2 inches across to disperse weight evenly and won't pinch your shoulder. A narrow strap concentrates force.

Lightweight Material: A nylon or fabric shell is typically much lighter than leather.

Small Size: It's only logical: the bigger the bag, the more junk you haul around. Choose a medium style that won't tempt you.

Back Straps: When worn correctly, they distribute weight properly. Carry the backpack with both straps, wearing it snug against your back, not loose and hanging down by your butt. Studies show that backpacks distribute weight the best.

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Aspire Integrated Health

6445 Lake Rd Terrace #302
Woodbury, MN 55125

(651) 294-2332