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Maybe you already know that you have to carefully choose children backpacks and make them wear it correctly to protect them from back pain. But do you know the same applies to your handbag or purse? Women are mostly fond of big handbags because they are fashionable. And because they are big, they tend to put several things in the bag or purse, causing them shoulder and neck pain. Not to say that it is wrong to buy an oversized bag, but you should think twice before filling it with a lot of things. Filling your handbag with a lot of things will make it heavy, resulting in shoulder pains that run down to neck pain.

Heavy purse boils down to muscle spasm, headache, neck pain, poor posture, upper back pain, injury of rotator cuff muscles, sciatica, tendinitis, and numbness or tingling of arms, fingers, or hands. A messenger bag has the least likelihood of triggering neck strain and stiffness. Shoulder and neck pain can be easily avoided by being smart about the bags and purses you carry every day.

Experts say that bags and purses cause pain in the upper back, shoulders, and neck by constantly putting pressure on the nerves, soft tissues, and muscles of the shoulder. The strain caused by bags and purses is often lopsided because bags are carried on one side. Also, the tendons on the inside of the arm can be strained when you carry purses in the crook of the elbow.

How to prevent pain from purses or bags:

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the following tips can help you prevent neck and shoulder pain caused by carrying purse and bags:

  • Always limit the weight of your bag to 10% of your body’s weight. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should not carry a bag that weighs more than 10 pounds.
  • It is best to use messenger-bag style that is worn across the shoulder. This is because they distribute weight more equally.
  • At least once every month, clean out your bag. This is because sometimes you tend to carry things you don’t need all around. Get rid of the items you don’t need, items that are duplicated, and items you’re done with.
  • Depending on the function, use more than one bag. Smaller purse should be used when running one or two errands while full-sized purse should be used for trips and all-day excursions.
  • Always switch arms so that one shoulder or elbow is not overburdened
  • Buy bags with compartments, so that heavy items can be stored low and evenly.
  • Because narrow straps place weight on smaller areas, choose bags that have wide, adjustable straps.
  • Travel-size bags should be used for hand sanitizers, make-ups, and lotions.
  • Get rid of loose change and extra cards from your wallet.

With these few precautionary tips, you can be rest assured that your daily bag or purse habits won’t cause you neck or shoulder pain.