The average woman owns seven handbags. How many do you own, and are any of them oversized or overloaded?

It’s common that a woman’s purse carry the whole kit, and you can frequently find a large wallet, makeup, snacks for kids, sunglasses, and more, inside. The larger the bag, the more we tend to stuff in that bag, making it a catch-all accessory that ends up hurting our backs more than they should. 39828488 - woman having elbow pain in medical office

According to a survey conducted by Prevention Magazine, a group of 100 women reported that multiple parts of their bodies were affected by an overloaded handbag. They reported pain in their shoulders, necks and backs, and even their arms! You may not have even realized, but your favorite accessory is carrying all of your stuff…and could pose a potential for injury.

A heavily-loaded handbag can affect your muscles, tendons and nerves because it requires that you slightly (or greatly!) change your posture to carry it. This may lead to headaches and other body pains in the short-term, and possibly more serious joint and nerve damage in the long-term.

But, the good news is, you can keep this from happening to you pretty simply. No, we don’t expect you to stop carrying around a handbag, and we know that you likely have quite a bit to include in your bag. But, you can change a few aspects about how you carry your Mary Poppins bag.

  • First, be mindful of how you usually carry your handbag. Then, switch it up every so often. Consider carrying your bag on different sides. Make sure to tighten up the strap as the swinging of a heavy handbag can also cause issues. Making these small changes may help prevent undue stress on one side of your body from overuse.
  • Second, change the style of bag. Doing so may help also alleviate stress on your body. Two bags weighing the same may affect you completely differently. Make sure to select a handbag that doesn’t place stress on your back. If you use a messenger or crossbody purse, try using your hand to help support the bottom of the bag and take the stress off of your one shoulder. If you use a backpack (a favorite among moms), make sure the straps are tight and the contents are evenly distributed so both shoulders are carrying the same amount of the load.
  • Lastly, take note of your posture. Make an effort to stand upright as curving your spine over time can cause damage as well.

You’ve heard of the saying “beauty is pain,” but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it shouldn’t be the case. You can still enjoy your favorite accessories in a safer way. If you find that your body pain doesn’t cease, contact your chiropractor for an adjustment and any other treatment you may need.