While worrying about the stresses of your daily schedule, back, neck or shoulder pain is the last thing you need. Whether it’s a fashionable new purse or a briefcase bursting with documents, knowing how to choose, pack and lift your bag can prevent them from becoming a pain in the back.

Common-sense tips to help spare your back:

Choosing a Handbag/Shoulder Bag
Whether your bag is a purse or home to your laptop, choose one with a wide, padded adjustable shoulder strap.

Packing a Handbag/Shoulder Bag
A heavy bag or purse can cause pain and injury to your back, neck and shoulders. Divide the contents among multiple pockets to help distribute the weight and keep items from shifting. Your bag should not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of your body weight.  Overstuffed bags also cause poor posture by encouraging the carrier to lean to one side.

Carrying a Handbag/Shoulder Bag
Don’t always carry your bag on the same shoulder, switch sides often so that each shoulder gets a rest. Try not to lift the shoulder on which the purse is carried, ideally wear the strap across your chest.

If back, neck or shoulder pain persists, consider visiting a chiropractor.

To find a chiropractor near you, use the chiropractor locator on our website. In Ontario, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral from a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care professional. If you already have a chiropractor and/or another health care professional, join our Partnership4BetterHealth online patient advisory community. Then, you can share your ideas on how to enhance chiropractic services and make a positive impact on our health care system. It’s confidential, free, and always your choice to participate.