We’ve been seeing signs of spring creep in for a while now, which means many more of us are going to be spending more time out-and-about, leaving our homes and enjoying the sunshine. But, as we emerge from our hibernation and wander around, instances of bag-related back pain are going to emerge as well. To help you keep your back strong and safe this spring, your North York chiropractic clinic offers you these 4 tips to reduce bag-related back pain.
Keep It Light
Never carry a bag that weighs more than 10% of your own body weight. Even then, lighter is always better, particularly if you’re going to be carrying your bag for a great period of time. If you must carry a heavier bag, such as while carrying interior camping supplies, make sure that your backpack is designed to carry the excess weight, and is properly fitted and fastened.
Don’t Restrict Movement
Perhaps the most important ergonomic advice is to make sure that your bag doesn’t restrict your movement in any way. If you have a big bulky purse that you need to shift your weight around to move your arm, that unnatural shifting motion you use to compensate will likely throw off the natural balance of your body and your spine, resulting in muscle soreness and subluxations.
As a scene in the comedy movie 21 Jump Street points out, ‘one-strapping’ a backpack used to be all the rage. Independent research suggests that a vast majority of kids graduating before 1995 would exclusively carry backpacks with one strap—a method of ‘cool kid carrying’ that was practically unheard-of by 2008. Still, old habits die hard, and many adults will find themselves ‘one-strapping’ whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Ergonomically, two-strap bag designs will always be more balanced and less restrictive than one-strap. With the weight distributed evenly over both shoulders, your spine is far more balanced.
For bags that only have one-strap options, such as purses and some laptop bags, a ‘bandolier’ or ‘messenger’ style (with the strap running from one shoulder to the opposite hip) offers at least a bit of balance, and is still preferable to a single-shoulder strap that keeps all the weight on one side.
Good habits are much easier to start early, and bad habits started early are much more difficult to break. If, like so many pre-2007 children, you grew up carrying over-loaded backpacks over one shoulder, you have likely developed posture and carrying habits that have had a negative impact on your spinal health for your entire life.
Making sure that your children are carrying light backpacks over both shoulders can ensure that they carry good habits into adulthood.
Visit your North York Chiropractic Clinic Regularly
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If your back health is maintained through regular ‘tune-up’ visits, you will be much less likely to suffer from chronic pains or significant injuries related to carrying bags, purses, and backpacks.
Don’t let back pain slow you down this spring. Book an appointment with your North York chiropractic clinic today.