Ladies, how often do you clear out your handbag of all the unnecessary “stuff” you take with you everywhere? We are all guilty of carrying everything but the kitchen sink in our bags. I picked up my client’s handbag recently and couldn’t believe how heavy it was. This is a common topic of conversation in my Practice as it can contribute to your neck, shoulder and back pain. If you are feeling noticeable strain from carrying your handbag then you need to take action as the problem will only get worse.
Back Pain, Tension and Headaches
Several of my Massage clients suffer with headaches coupled with a tense upper back and general back pain. A heavy bag is not the only reason that may cause this issue for you. There are other factors to consider such as stress, poor posture, prolonged sitting at your desk, driving and injury. Handbags very often do not feature for many women as to why they are in pain.
How do you carry your handbag?
You will find you tend to carry your bag on one shoulder. Generally the stronger, more dominant side is favoured. Even if your bag is quite light the natural slope of the shoulder means your shoulder and neck muscles will contract when you carry your bag. This will be more pronounced if the bag is heavy as you need a stronger muscle contraction. In addition, remember that the strap can dig into your muscle causing irritation and affect local blood circulation.
Time to change your unhealthy handbag habits
· Declutter your bag and streamline its contents to help your muscles and shoulders stay healthy;
· Keep items in your favourite over-sized bag to a minimum and do not be tempted to fill it with more “stuff”;
· Wear your bag across your body as diagonal distribution of weight is better. Also you will not feel like it is slipping off so you are less likely to hunch your shoulder to keep it in place;
· Avoid thin straps and chains over your shoulder as they are likely to dig more into your muscles.
· Use a rucksack as the weight is distributed more evenly and decreases stress on your back, neck and shoulders – remember to wear it on both shoulders not just one to avoid neck strain.
Listen to your body!
I always tell my clients the most important thing is to listen to the signals your body sends you. If you are feeling twinges in your back and suffering with headaches do not ignore these signs. Look at ways to help yourself with back strengthening exercises, stretching, keep mobile, check your posture, breaks from desk and screen time and keep hydrated.
Can Massage Therapy help?
Making Massage Therapy part of your self-care routine will further help you keep your body free from tension and pain. Massage is a powerful tool that assists you in taking charge of your health and well-being. The work carried out in every session builds on itself helping your body maintain the many benefits this wonderful therapy can bring such as relief from stress and anxiety, improving your mood as well as aiding sleep to name a few.
Sit or lie for a moment and just think about how your body feels and where you are feeling tension. If you want to make changes get in touch for further details on how Massage and Holistic Therapy can help you.