Whether you’re hiking the Swiss Alps, heading back to school, or a fashionista strolling around with a signature purse on your shoulder, there’s a good chance that your bag is adding to your neck and back pain.
It’s not just a matter of us loading them up with too much stuff: there’s also a good chance that it isn’t designed to distribute its weight in a healthy way. When you combine that fact with the fact that we spend so much of our time sitting around, it’s a killer combination.
We all are vulnerable to back and neck pain – in fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of us will experience it at some point in our lives – but that doesn’t mean that we have to volunteer for it.
The first step in addressing pain is to avoid it entirely by not putting extra weight on your back. Choosing not to carry an oversized bags is the most straightforward way to protect against both incidental pain and long-term issues.
If you’re already experiencing pain in your neck, shoulders, or back – or if you’re feeling a tingling sensation in your buttock or hands – the damage may already have started. At our cervical spine specialty practice in New Jersey, we have helped many patients deal with the after effects of inappropriately heavy or unbalanced bags.
Your best course of action if you’re experiencing pain is to call and make an appointment to come in for a consultation. In the meantime, here are a few potential causes for you to look at.
Your bag has too much stuff in it
Whether you’re carrying a school bag, a purse, a gym bag or a backpack, you may think that everything you have in there is absolutely essential.
Unfortunately, things that you needed once and threw in have a tendency to take up full-time residence, then proceed to cause you unnecessary pain and a potential lack of balance if you’re only carrying it on one side of your body.
Go through your bag and remove anything that isn’t needed. The goal is to lighten your load so that it isn’t causing strain.
Your bag doesn’t provide your back with enough support
Carrying a bag on one shoulder is an invitation to pain, especially if it weighs too much. If you’re carrying a lot of weight, switch to a backpack to distribute the weight evenly across your body.
If you’re just too stylish for a backpack, then take a look at the straps on your bag to make sure that they are wide enough to be providing support, and make sure you’re switching which shoulder you’re carrying it on regularly.
Stretching and doing strengthening exercises are also good ideas, but the most important fix is to make sure that you seek medical attention before you are suffering from chronic pain. Seeing our cervical spine specialist in New Jersey will be your most effective potection against long-term damage.