Whole Living Daily

What's in the Bag? It Could Be Giving You Back Pain

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Life is complicated, and if you're like me, you probably go through a lot of effort to simplify things, and declutter your home, your workspace, your life.

There is one area which many of us fail to declutter, however, and it can have bad ramifications for you— and in particular your spine: Your purse, briefcase or book bag.

My mom is a repeat offender of this mistake (forgive me mom!) Her purse is an ongoing punchline in our family, as she has often produced objects from her cavernous bag that nobody should ever be carrying around with them (I have asked her to check if she had replacement parts for my car on several occasions- only half jokingly.)

Having all this extra stuff with you leads to a massive bag, which will ultimately take its toll on your back.

Lighten Up
Dump the entire contents of your bag onto your kitchen table. You may be surprised by the debris you have managed to accumulate in such a short time.

Get rid of the items you don’t need—and as you go through the contents, ask yourself which things you absolutely need to have with you.

I've done this—and reduced the weight of my briefcase by 7-8 pounds (and YES, I have actually weighed it.)

We carry these bags with us every day, and they are an appendage. Like any other part of your body, you should keep them in the best shape you can. By reducing the weight of the materials you are carrying, and periodically switching the side on which you carry it, you can significantly reduce the likelihood that your bag will cause you to have back pain.

Be well!

Andrew Kirschner, D.O., is a board-certified physician with a private practice in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, and a consultancy in Miami, Florida. He specializes in treating individuals and couples with musculoskeletal and back pain. To learn more about his practice, please visit BackTogether.org.

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