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Your Purse Might Be Killing Your Back!

By Sara Butler

A recent study found that the average weight of the purses American women carry every day is a little over 6 pounds. Larger purses may be more convenient and very fashionable, but they might be doing a number on your back and neck. Here’s how your overweight purse might be impacting your spine health and what you can do about it.

What Can an Extra 6 Pounds Do?

That bag you’re carrying around probably has a lot more of an impact on your body than you realize. When you carry extra weight, your body attempts to adapt to it. It does this by compensating to try and help balance out. This can lead to a strain of the neck muscles and cause you to lean to the side as you try to counterbalance the weight of the purse, throwing off your center of gravity and making you hold yourself in an unnatural and awkward position.

When you throw in the fact that most people often carry their bags on the same side day in and day out, you’re creating an imbalance that you reinforce through your behavior daily. It will lead to pain and discomfort if you keep doing it -- which you almost certainly will.

Lighten the Load

You have to take a good look at the things you carry around on a daily basis and determine if it’s really important or not. If it’s not going to rain, then leave that umbrella at home. If you’re a mom, you may have a menagerie of items in your purse, even games or books. Take a look and determine what you’ll need for that day instead of just carrying around everything but the kitchen sink. Who knows? You may even have the kitchen sink – and you don’t need it! If you have to, store things in your car that you might need, but don’t carry them on you all day.

See Your Chiropractor

Even once you lighten your load, if you’re carrying around a bag on a daily basis, then you need to see your chiropractor regularly. This is especially true if you’re suffering from any neck or back pain as a result of your purse.

Your chiropractor can adjust your spine in order to help work out any joint dysfunctions or restrictions caused by your heavy bag. They can also advise you on how to best combat the effects of a heavy bag. They might suggest you switch to a backpack so that the bag can be carried as close to you as possible. If you carry a large amount of paperwork or equipment for your job, consider a small suitcase instead of a bag.

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

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