Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Could Carrying a Heavy Bag be Causing You Pain?

Carrying a heavy bag or two? Could it be contributing to that daily ache or discomfort you feel? Read on to find out.

This information may appear to be more geared toward women but don't rule it out men – some of you need to carry around lots of items on a daily basis too.
You know how it is; you leave the house early in the morning and sometimes you don’t get home until late in the evening, therefore you need all those essential items stuffed into your fashionable over-sized handbag!
·       Book for the commute
·       Trying to eat healthily and save some money = snacks and lunch,
·       Bottle of water to keep hydrated,
·       Partial or full change of outfit and make-up for the after works drinks.
·       Not to mention your everyday essentials; wallet, mobile, keys, hand lotion, lip balm etc. etc.
·       The list goes on.
So you pack your bag and you’re ready to go, but can you even lift it off the floor to get going? And what do you look like posture wise as you struggle off down the road? 

What you need to know
Carrying a heavy weight on one shoulder results in the rest of your body needing to compensate. When the weight is on one side of your body you will naturally lean to the other side to balance your centre of gravity – this creates a sideways curve in your mid spine, your eyes then want to be straight so that your brain can accurately judge your position in space (proprioception), this creates an opposing sideways curve in your neck. These un-natural curves over time cause pressure on your joints and muscles to maintain this posture which may eventually lead to pain and discomfort in your back, neck and shoulders and can sometimes result in headaches as well.

What you can do about it - Ways to reduce the weight of your bag:
·       Regularly sort through your bag as you may be carrying items you don’t need everyday
·       Empty your purse/wallet of loose change – you may be surprised how much weight this reduces
·       If you like to carry an umbrella invest in a lightweight version
·       If you have somewhere to store food at work, do a grocery shop near work and keep the food at work for your week, or only do one journey laden with food at the start of the week
·       Consider buying travel sizes in the toiletries and make-up that you like to carry with you
·       Reduce the size of your water bottle – chances are you only spend a small portion of your day travelling so a smaller water bottle will likely suffice, you can then refill it at work for the journey home
 If you think your daily routines could be contributing to discomfort you are feeling you can contact the clinic and book a free 15 minute consultation to see if Chiropractic care may be right for you.

By Hazel Dillon (MChiro DC) a chiropractor at The Octagon Chiropractic Clinic