Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Main Page
 Shoulder News
Feature Story
Shoulder Technology
Real Life Recoveries
 Education Center
 Shoulder  Hero™
Dr. Evan Flatow:
Innovating Shoulder Surgery
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion in  Our Forums
Shoulder1 Forums
Patient Stories
Shoulder Journals
Ask an Expert
Locate a Doctor
Reference Library
Video Library
 Bookmark Us
Search the Body1 Network
April 19, 2021  
SHOULDER NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • Links/Reprints
  • handbag

    Lighten Your Load and Improve Your Shoulder Health

    March 15, 2011

    Written for Shoulder1 by Sarah Mahmood

    Ladies, are your shoulders killing you? The villain might be your trendy, oversized handbag.

    Your bag can fit everything - your makeup, umbrella, medicine, snacks, books, laptop, cell phone, and wallet - but that isn’t as beneficial as you might think. While wanting to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario is understandable, being over-prepared can have unintended and more damaging consequences.

    Chiropractors in the United States have reported that purse-related injuries have risen in the past few years. According to the American Chiropractic Association, heavy purses restrict the natural movements of your body, causing the unnatural counterbalance movement of one shoulder. It may also result in your spine curving towards the shoulder. Using your cell phone can make this even worse, as it becomes one more item you have to balance.

    Since the shoulder holding the heavy bag is raised and rotated backwards the whole time, your upper back, shoulder, and spine muscles become fatigued and spasm. The other side of your body will lean away from the bag, compressing and tiring your vertebrae. These responses can result in arthritis in the facet joints, disc degeneration, and prolapse. Not only will it be painful, but it may also require surgery.

    You can pursue several alternatives to your oversized bag.  Livestrong suggests cross-body bags, which have a long strap connected to a small tote. You wear it over your head and across your body, allowing for even weight distribution. You can also carry two bags, one to hold in your hand and another to hang on your shoulder. Satchels are also a viable option, as they prevent shoulder drag and spine curvature by keeping most of the weight near the straps.

    But if you insist on wearing your old purse, follow these tips to avoid agonizing consequences:

    • Don’t wear bags that weigh over 10% of your body weight
    • Remove unnecessary items from your handbags
    • Choose bags made of lightweight material like nylon or soft leather
    • Switch sides frequently so one shoulder isn’t burdened with the load
    • Wear bags with straps that are at least 1.5 inches wide. Narrow straps can dig into your shoulder.
    • Have weekly massages, stretch regularly, and take warm baths with Epsom salts
    • If your bag has long straps, adjust it so that it rests at your waist

    Discuss this in the Shoulder1 Forums.

    Photo by Lee Bailey

    Last updated: 15-Mar-11

    Interact on Shoulder1

    Discuss this topic with others.
    Feature Archives

    Surgery A Treatment Option For Young Patients With Shoulder Injuries

    Recommendations For Tablet Computer Use To Avoid Shoulder Pain

    3-D Motion Detection System Could Prevent Shoulder Injuries In Baseball Pitchers

    New IDSA Guidelines Aim To Reduce Death, Disability And Cost Of Prosthetic Joint Infections

    Biceps Tenodesis Hastens Recovery From Shoulder Injuries

    Previous 5 Features ...

    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
    Related Multimedia

    Interview with Dr. Andrews

    The Advent of the Arthroscope 3 - Interview with Dr. Andrews

    Interview with Dr. Andrews

    More Features ...
    Related Content
    Biceps Tenodesis Hastens Recovery From Shoulder Injuries

    Recommendations For Tablet Computer Use To Avoid Shoulder Pain

    Video Games and Shoulder Pain

    Pain in the Back, Shoulder, or Neck? Over Half of Women Polled Blame Their Bra

    Supraspinatus Tendonitis (Rotator Cuff Tendonitis)

    More Features ...
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    © 2021 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.