Without Limits Health

Osteopaths in South Melbourne & Southbank treating all your musculoskeletal needs. Helping you move free, pain free.

Heavy Purse Syndrome - Is Your Handbag Causing You Neck & Shoulder Pain?

Handbags are not just a fashion statement, they carry very important essentials. However, the rising popularity of large totes and the temptation to fill the bag with everything but the kitchen sink "just in case" can be doing more harm than good to our physical health.

All too often as an Osteopath, I see people walking around with the weight of the world in their handbags. These overstuffed monstrosities drag down their shoulder and pull into the neck, increasing the risk of long term injury known as "Heavy Purse Syndrome". Alternatively, they come in for an Osteopathic treatment for neck and shoulder pain and walk out the door with their heavy tote on the very side they are experiencing discomfort.

If you are someone that spends the majority of your time sitting at a desk, and then goes out with a 2-5 kg handbag on one shoulder then you are at risk of developing pain and discomfort in your neck and shoulder.

Next time you go to step out of the house weigh your bag as an experiment just to see how much you are carrying on your shoulder. If it is more than 2kg then you may need to reconsider your "essential items" or potentially change to a backpack. A backpack will evenly distribute the weight across both shoulders instead of just one!

Things to consider when experiencing Neck and Shoulder pain and picking the right bag:
- The weight of your bag matters - Swap your bag to the other shoulder
- Decrease the weight of your bag by leaving only what you need
- Swap your tote for a smaller bag
- A backpack may be the solution for you, especially if you are carrying your laptop.

How can Osteopathy Help Neck and Shoulder pain?
Your Osteopath can help you to understand what is causing your neck and shoulder pain and provide you with a management plan to help your pain. This may involve improving posture, changing desk ergonomics, changing to a backpack instead of a handbag, therapeutic stretches, and manual therapy to reduce strain patterns causing the pain. If you are experiencing shoulder or neck pain and need some professional advice, our Osteopaths in Southbank are here to help. If you want to know more about Osteopathy see this link.
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