How To Carry Your Bag And Avoid Shoulder Pain
While living in the digital age, it’s easy to choose fashion over function. Without thinking twice, we will purchase the fancy looking purse or handbag over the practical and functional option, which can lead to shoulder pain.
The problem is that while we may look fly AF walking with our large *insert name brand here* purse, the constant load on our shoulder can lead to neck, shoulder pain, lower back pain and dysfunction.
Carrying that heavy bag can cause your natural gait to be thrown off (by interfering with your arm swing), your center of gravity will shift to the side, and your bag will also cause your upper trapezius muscles to become overactive and stiff.
Here are five tips you can use to try and decrease the adverse effects of carrying a purse.
Try a cross body bag
Instead of loading one side of your body with a heavy weight, causing your body to carry an asymmetric load, try using a cross body bag to distribute the forces through the body better.
Reduce the load
While this may seem like an obvious one, lessening the burden that you carry on the daily can significantly reduce the strain you place on your shoulders and neck. Consider doing a weekly inventory of your purse to see what you need or don’t need.
Switch your bag on your other shoulder
This may be a tough one to get used to as you likely have developed muscle memory and subsequent tension on the side you carry your bag on, but switching shoulders periodically can help distribute the load, and decrease the strain and asymmetry on your body.
Try a backpack
I know you are probably rolling your eyes at this one, but there are a lot of fashionable backpacks to choose from! Switching to a two strap bag can significantly reduce the amount of strain and asymmetry a large shoulder bag would otherwise cause. The load will evenly distribute the weight through your body, and you will be able to walk with a normal gait.
Use a dynamic purse/bag
Try using a bag with different strap options. Switching between cross-body, on the shoulder, and holding the purse as a clutch can offer rest to those often overused, upper trapezius muscles.