Along the lines of our previous article on School bag safety, we are sure to cover safety for handbag use as well!
Everyone ‘knows’ that a big, heavy handbag is not the best accessory for a woman. They swing a lot and force your lower back to move differently in order to compensate for that swing. Simply carrying the weight on your shoulder, on one side, can cause shoulder and neck strain. The problems big heavy bags cause are usually pretty obvious.
But little bags are ‘in’ this summer – so that must be better right? Not necessarily.
If you think about it, a tiny bag can move around a lot and this can cause a different set of issues. Some include:
· Neck strain – from not moving your neck and shoulder
· Shoulder immobility – from clutching bags under the arm or just not moving the shoulder to prevent it falling off
· Upper back joint stiffness – from limiting your arm movement to keep the bag on
· Hip problems – from not moving your back properly. This results in your hips having to do a lot of additional work during normal stride, causing back pain.
The best solution is to wear a two strapped rucksack – they do make attractive ones! A rucksack or backpack allows you to move your spine and shoulders freely as you walk. However, don’t pack it too heavy unless you are going trekking and in that case you should get fitted for a proper pack.
The best thing to do if you feel you must carry a handbag is:
· choose one that is of medium size and of light to medium weight
· choose one with a non- slippery strap (like canvas) so it stays on your shoulder more easily
· pack that handbag lightly – you should feel you can carry it on your shoulder without crunching it up or tilting your head
· choose a long strap style you can put across your body or even better a sling style bag that won’t swing when you walk.
These tips may help you find a bag that allows you to move with less strain and pain.
If you need help seeing how your posture or pain may be improved by modifying the bag you carry, please ask us at your next appointment.