Giant Purse Syndrome

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Are you carrying a giant purse?  Well your gigantic purse may be hurting your back because of what you carry. In a recent study (1), researchers found that increased weight of backpacks for college students was directly correlated to an increase in prevalence of back pain, so what about us ladies who like the most stylish purse, you know, on Pinterest.

Most people have probably experienced acute back, neck or shoulder pain after carrying an unusually heavy load. Think about the last time you traveled. Especially with today’s extra charges for checking baggage, many people may be resorting to heavy bags strung over their shoulders in addition to the carry-on with wheels. Your back, neck or shoulders will likely be sore by the end of the trip.

When you become used to a certain weight (i.e. your purse, back pack, diaper bag, etc.), you may become tolerant of the pain. Unfortunately, everyday that goes by is likely causing damage that can lead to chronic back, neck or shoulder pain. Further degeneration and inflammation as the damage continues will amplify the problem.  Is it worth it, all for a cute purse?  Well some might say yes, but it really isn’t.  You must know that the body adapts.  If you’re a mother of many children and you have carried each one on your left hip, your body will adapt to that.  If you carry an unnecessarily large purse, your shoulders, back and hips will adapt to that too.

A chiropractor can help get you back on track, but how will you lighten your load and avoid future problems? Try a medium sized purse and keep what you’re carrying to a minimum.  Wallet, phone, lip stick, lotion, etc. just the essentials, should be in your purse.  To ensure you aren’t accumulating a bunch of unneeded stuff in your purse, go through it once a week.  Dump it all out on the table and go through it.  Remove all loose change and put it in a change jar in your home (do you have any idea how much loose change weighs?  I don’t, but I do know that when I remove mine, I can feel the difference.), throw out any trash, take out extra lip sticks or make up that you don’t need for the day, remove receipts and file them away at home, you only need one pen so take out extras, keep the hair brush in the car if you absolutely need one, etc.  You get the idea, just lighten your load!  Also, purses with lots of hardware like chains and large metal loops can add a bunch of weight, so go for a purse that isn’t hardware heavy.  If you think you’ve been experiencing back pain from an overly large purse or an imbalance in your body, give the office a call 951.461.4617 to make an appointment with Dr. Becerra for back xrays and an exam!


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