What backpacks, briefcases, and purses can do to your back

How briefcases, purses and backpacks are large contributors to your back pain.

Today, most women carry oversized purses. On top of that each time they carry their purse, women tend to wear it on the same shoulder.

Over time, the constant heavy load can cause muscle imbalance and asymmetry in the body. This will cause symptoms like tension in the neck, upper back and possibly even the lower back. The same issues can happen for those that carry briefcases on a day to day basis.

With back to school season here, children can also suffer from back issues due to heavy book bags. Students often carry all their textbooks and other supplies in their bags from class to class due to time constraints. Backpacks that are incorrectly sized or adjusted can also lead to chronic back pain.

So what can you do about the pain? What treatments are available to help?

Individuals with mild and acute cases of discomfort due to lifting and carrying these heavy bags and purses can visit a chiropractor for adjustments, manual soft tissue therapy and even therapeutic exercises to relieve the pain. Those with a more moderate condition can enroll in a physical therapy treatment plan to help strengthen their postural muscles due to the constant heavy lifting.

When your muscles are repeatedly taxed and overloaded with a weight that they cannot handle, the body compensates. You may notice your one shoulder being more elevated than the other or the body leaning a certain direction even while not carrying a bag.

As conditions become chronic and more severe, your muscles may spasm. If the spasm has been ongoing for a long time, chiropractic care and physical therapy may not be enough to resolve the issue.

Pain management doctors can perform a treatment called a trigger point injection. A trigger point injection contains a mixture of a local anesthetic, saline and sometimes a mild corticosteroid and is inserted into the patient’s trigger points. Typically, a single treatment may provide long lasting relief.

If your bag is causing your back issues, it may be time to find something more suitable for your lifestyle, or consider downsizing the number of items you carry if possible. If you are experiencing chronic back pain or are concerned about misalignment of your spine from heavy weight, come visit our office and we will get you straightened out.


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