Fashionable handbags and heavy backpacks lead to an increased risk of back and shoulder pain in Eatontown, NJ
I spent a little bit of time at the Monmouth County Mall in Eatontown this past month in search of Christmas presents. While shopping, I noticed something strange: is it just me, or are women’s handbags getting bigger every year?
Even worse, not only are many of these bags gigantic (thereby capable of carrying large amounts of heavy stuff), but most of them look like they’d be weighty even if they were empty. Women are compounding the problem by wearing these giant, heavy contraptions over one shoulder, leading to a dangerously uneven and abnormal distribution of weight. These fashionable items are distorting posture and must be causing back, neck, shoulder, and hip pain.
As my kids get older, I’m also starting to see this problem a lot in the form of excessively heavy backpacks. What drives me crazy in particular is that so many kids refuse to wear their backpacks with both straps (I’m guessing because it looks ‘uncool’).
I’m not the first healthcare practitioner to notice the harmful, heavy backpack trend. A number of leading medical, physical therapy, and chiropractic organizations have also expressed concern.*
For both fashion-conscious women and overburdened school kids, there are some measures you can take to reduce the risk of injury. On a very basic level, try to even up the burden of weight. When wearing a backpack, this means having straps around both of your shoulders; for women with handbags, try to shift the bag from one arm to the other occasionally. Also, watch how much you are lifting. Bags should weigh no more than ten percent of your body weight.**
The back is a particularly vulnerable structure made up of a number of components, including bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and discs. The back is needed for several important functions, including support for the trunk and head, as well as movement and strength. When trauma of any kind (including the trauma inflicted by too-heavy bags) affects any of these parts, pain and disability often result.
Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation Center is different from a lot of other medical or physical therapy offices. For one thing, we offer a wide variety of treatment options in one facility—from traditional medical care to holistic pain management practices. Some of the services we offer are listed below:
When you begin to experience pain of any sort, please contact our office to learn more about pain management for Eatontown patients.
*Most notably, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Chiropractic Association, and the International Chiropractors Association.
**According to The American Chiropractic Association.