Handbags, Shoulder Pain, Stiff Neck And Back Pain

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Handbags have become so voluminous in the recent years that many women have become almost as burdened as mail carriers. As a result, reports of shoulder soreness, stiff neck, and back pain are at all time high. Doctors, massage therapists, and chiropractors have now a new found need to design treatments for the bag-obsessed society.

American Chiropractic Association spokeswoman and practicing chiropractor Dr. Karen Erickson remarks “In the last year or so, I’ve been seeing the same kinds of issues with adult women that I’m used to seeing with kids who carry heavy backpacks on one shoulder… They’re experiencing neck pain — not just while they’re carrying their purses, but all the time. A lot of women even get bad headaches. Lately, when a patient comes in complaining of these symptoms, I walk over and pick up her purse… Without fail, it weighs a ton.”

Bigger and chunkier bags is a result of a busier lifestyle, explains director Robin Ehrlich of the Eastside Therapy Massage Center. Furthermore Ms. Ehrlich makes an observation that women talk on their cellphones while carrying their bulky bags. She notes that this can only intensify the problem because they put too much weight rather unevenly on one side of their body while lifting the shoulders at the same time.

What Can Be Done to Minimize the Damage?

Dr. Karen Erikson suggests that instead of carrying the bag on the same side, women should switch back and forth. Another way to reduce damage is to carry the bag in the front. “It’s not exactly glamorous, but if at the end of a long day you find your shoulders aching, slip the bag off and carry it in front of your body with both arms like it’s an infant.” she remarks.

When asked if she’d recommend her client to stop using chunky bags, Ms. Ehrlich answers “It’s like telling a woman, ‘You cannot wear Manolo Blahniks… It’s just not realistic.’ Instead she recommends weekly massages to relieve the pain and discomfort. She also suggests that women do gentle stretching and take warm baths with Epsom salts.

Long Beach Chiropractor Marta Carlotta’s advice is for women to clean out their handbags and purse for at least once every week. She also suggests the full use of all pockets to distribute weight much more evenly.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. David Golden of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills California remarks that the effect of constantly carrying a heavy bag is pretty similar to a strenuous workout. He says, “As with an overly taxing workout, you can strain the muscles and induce joint pain if your bag is too heavy.”

When feeling neck, shoulder, and back discomfort, Dr. Golden recommends taking anti-inflammatory meds while resting the injured muscles. Unlike Ms. Ehrlich, Dr. Golden is all for ditching the bigger bags. He says that it is best to start over with a big bag while consciously maintaining the correct form. He explains that maintaining the correct form means keeping the bulk of the purse toward the center of the body while resting the strap close to the neck as frequent as possible.

Joel Mayer is a freelancer who writes about Shoulder Surgery and health information for companies like Kaliper Orthopedics.


About Davy Greene
SEO analyst by profession, in addition to working with Search Engine Optimization(SEO) for more than 4 years.

5 Responses to Handbags, Shoulder Pain, Stiff Neck And Back Pain

  1. I noticed that I tend to suffer from stiff neck and shoulder pain after shopping, as the bag hang on my shoulder for a long time. Now I have a special bag, just for this purpose. It has a long strap which hangs across my body, to distribute the weight, and can take only my purse and a small bottle of water. Thanks for this post, Sandeep. Sara

  2. kelihasablog says:

    Very, very True. My doctor told me I have problems now because of that!

  3. John Mayer says:

    I’ve suffered from severe back and neck pains for quite some time. A close friend referred me to Schrier Family Chiropractic in Delray Beach. Dr. Schrier was very thorough in my examinations and effectively produced a solution to my pains. I had an incredible experience with the gentle upper cervical care he provided. If you need relief for your back pain or any illnesses, I recommend you visit http://www.drelan.com or call 561.445.2648.

  4. Hugo says:

    impress this Handbags, Shoulder Pain, Stiff Neck And Back Pain | Discover The Expert in You is definitely very good to share

  5. Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are many common causes of this problem. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms so that appropriate treatment can be directed at the cause. If you have shoulder pain, some common causes include:
    adhesive capsulitis treatment

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