The Pain Caused By Computer Cases And Purses

In today’s society women, men, and children alike are loading their shoulders with laptops, book bags, and over-sized purses.  While laptops are getting lighter as technology advances, kid’s book bags and women’s purses are not.  Carrying these can lead to some big problems!

Some professionals say book bags for kids should not exceed 10% of their body weight, and this is often greatly exceeded.  A woman’s purse or handbag should not exceed a few pounds, but with the popularity of larger bags and the inclination to have them loaded with all the stuff that you absolutely must carry at all times, they can often exceed 10 pounds.

Not many people realize that your arm connects to a bone called the scapula, or shoulder blade, and this has very limited bony connections to the skeleton.  What this means is that your scapula is mainly held in place by muscles!  In fact 17 different muscles attach to your shoulder blade to give it support and movement.   And what do muscles do when they get overworked?  They can spasm, they can ache, they can become imbalanced, and they can get injured.

Typically, out of habit, we carry our stuff on the same side every time.  This unevenly loads the shoulder girdle and can cause an imbalance with the demands put on muscles, which can lead to overuse.  Overuse can lead to a tendonitis, muscle spasm in the shoulder, neck, or back, and even misalignment of the spine.

When you continually carry a load on one side, it weights down that shoulder and the body responds by hiking the shoulder up.  This can change the natural angle of your shoulder blade and spine, leading to problems.  It also can cause noticeable strength and flexibility differences between your muscles on each side of your spine.  Considering how many people carry their stress in the upper back and neck, this is an area that does not need anything else messing with it!

My helpful advice would obviously be to lighten the load. This is especially true with purses and handbags, as you are in direct control of what is carried.  While you cannot control the weight of your laptop, you can make a conscience effort to carry the load with equal time on each shoulder, and this hold true with purses too. You can also consider something on wheels that can be pulled.  A wider shoulder strap can also be helpful, as a narrow strap can dig into the soft tissue of your shoulder.

Kids cannot often control the weight of their book bags, so when the weight of the load gets heavy it is important to use both straps of the backpack, which will allow equal distribution of the weight on both shoulders. There are also purses that have two straps and can be carried as a backpack.

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