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How to Keep Your Bag from Wrecking Your Back

By Krista Elliott

Springtime is rapidly approaching, and it's a time when we all want to lighten things up a bit. We switch out our boots for sandals, put away warmer clothing, and swap out cozy winter home decor for light, bright, and breezy. 

While we're shedding all of this extra weightiness in our lives, why not take a good look at the bag that you haul around every day? Are you carrying the right bag for all of your stuff (and do you even really need all of that stuff)? And, what is that heavy bag doing to your spine and joints? 

Sad Sack

A lot of us carry heavy shoulder bags, with a thin leather or chain strap. While the bag itself might look attractive, what it's doing to our bodies is definitely not. How is your bag hurting your joints? 

  • A thin strap can compress nerves in the shoulder, leading to tingling, numbness, headaches, and loss of function.
  • A heavy shoulder bag forces you to compensate by leaning to the other side, placing strain and uneven forces on your joints and spine.
  • Because of the uneven forces on your body, your center of gravity and balance are thrown off, increasing your chance of stumbles and falls. 
  • Constant use of a heavy shoulder bag causes your musculature to develop unevenly, so your joints are being yanked in all directions even when you're not carrying your bag. 

Lighten Up, Francis

So, how do you keep your bag from wrecking your back? 

  • Pare Down — Give your bag a good purge once or twice a month. Do you really need to carry your entire makeup bag, when all you use is powder and lipstick? Instead of toting a hardcover around, why not download e-books to your phone? If you carry it in your purse but haven't used it in a week, take it out and leave it out. 
  • Get the Right Bag — Now that you know what your everyday necessities are, get the right bag. If you use your laptop every day, a padded backpack is your best bet. If you've pared it down to just wallet, keys, phone, charger and a few toiletries, carry a smaller bag, but avoid skinny shoulder straps. Carrying work documents? Consider a rolling briefcase, a sleek and smart backpack, or at least a sturdy tote that you can switch from hand to hand, to avoid placing all your strain on one side. 
  • Get Adjusted — Routine chiropractic care from the chiropractors at The Joint can do a great job at offsetting any subluxations or joint restrictions caused by years of lugging a heavy purse around. With precise and gentle adjustments, our chiropractors can help restore your range of motion, relieve pain, and improve your stance and gait. 

So grab your purse and head down to The Joint today! 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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