Dec 19, 2022

March 15, 2013

Did you know that in 2007 The American Chiropractic Association reported that purse-related injuries surged 30%?  The average woman’s handbag weighs 5.2 pounds these days and the UK’s Daily Mail reports that the average “Man Bag” weighs almost 13 pounds!  That’s like hauling around 5 to12 one-pound bags of sugar.  The results are not so sweet.

 Just this morning I observed a Fashion-savvy woman furiously text messaging on the subway.   From her texting arm hung a 10-12 pound bag and from the opposite shoulder hung another bag twice as heavy.  Her head hung forward about 6 inches, her cervical spine in wickedly deep flexion while her fingers ravenously danced over her Blackberry keyboard.

It’s hard to say which is worse, carrying a huge bag on the elbow joint or carrying on the shoulder since both purse-carries have detrimental effects:

The Arm Bag Carry

 The Huge Handbag that hangs off the elbow joint can damage the superficial radial nerves that stretch from the elbow to the hand on the anterior side of the forearm.  As we daintily bear the weight on our forearm, our digital flexors and pronator teres become tenderized.   Alas, it’s not uncommon for those who’ve never played tennis to suddenly acquire a Tennis Elbow diagnosis as the olecranon bursa and/or the tendon attachments become inflamed.

The Shoulder Bag Carry

The Shoulder Bag Carry is not much improvement:  Strapping a giant bag on one shoulder can aggravate tender rotator cuff muscles and degrade the highly susceptible shoulder joint capsule, resulting in pain.  Furthermore, this big bag hanging off one side of your body may result in acquired functional spinal curvature as your muscles and spine are forced to counterbalance the weight, creating repetitive stress on the axial skeleton.  Again, the result is pain, usually in the back.

 5 Ways to Avoid Huge Handbag Injuries

1. Switch bags often.  This way your body isn’t maintaining a bad structural habit day after day.

2. Stabilize your core and bend your knees when lifting anything, even your bag.

3. Carry two smaller bags instead of one large one.

4. Practice Retrain Back Pain joint mobilization and stabilization exercises

5. Use therapy balls products to soothe and restore slide and glide to aching muscles. 

 Many of the Retrain Back Pain exercises will help you to restore, stabilize, and relieve sore upper back, neck and shoulder muscles.

So the question is:

Will you be a Fashionista or a Fascianista?

One honors fashion, often at the expense of structural integrity; the other honors FASCIA (the soft fibrous connective tissue that is the aqueous scaffolding of our structure) at the expense of fashion.