It is hard to imagine that some so seemingly simple tasks as carrying your makeup and driver’s license can have adverse effects on your back and neck. Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) have warned for years that men and women need to not only rethink the way they dress but just as importantly the way that they carry around their belongings. Perhaps not surprisingly, many a DC seeks to counsel parents to help their children carry heavy school backpacks appropriately and in such a manner that the little ones will not suffer from short term back pain and even neck pain but in the long term will not find themselves with severely deformed spines which will not adjust themselves naturally any longer. Yet it is not only children who need to be made aware of the proper methods of carrying their books and other belongings, but adults need to learn – and in some cases re-learn – these tasks again themselves.
Men and women are guilty of carrying their belongings in such a manner as to negatively impact their bodies, yet it is women who are well known for carrying purses and backpacks that are so heavy as to rival any high school kid’s carrying case. DCs strongly urge women and man to carry bags that amount to less than 10 percent of their individual body weight. The less weight the better, and to this end DCs suggest that people check their bags, handbags, and assorted other carrying devices and leave at home anything and everything that they do not deem absolutely essential for a daily outing. In addition to the foregoing, carrying your purse or back over one shoulder further harms your back!
Ideally, you should carry your belongings in a backpack on your back. The pack should have wide straps – preferably padded – and not hang more than four inches below your waist. While this flies in the face of any and every fashion edict, it does go a long way to alleviate shoulder pain, reduce back pain, and prevent many an injured back. As a matter of fact, DCs point out that from a musculoskeletal perspective, the curvature of the spine changes when a person carries a pack or purse slung over a shoulder. The shoulder goes up and with this motion and the spine also moves up as well as forward, thus affecting the natural gait of the individual.
As you can see, there is so much more to carrying your daily necessities than meets the eye. If you are currently experiencing back pain or neck or shoulder pain, please be certain to make an appointment with your DC and have her or him take a look at your back and perhaps also address any spinal dysfunction. At the same time, do show your DC the purse or pack you are carrying on a daily basis and ask the professional to evaluate it for the sake of not only functionality but also healthfulness for your back. The odds are good that your DC will be able to give you some tips and advise about how to carry around your possessions in a safe and healthy manner.