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Patient Education

Heavy Bag: How Does It Affect You?

Physiotherapist in EdmontonHow big is your bag? Although some people associate the weight of their bag with its size, sometimes, it doesn’t matter. Whether it is for school or work, you are tempted to always stuff your bag with all the things you consider necessary. Most of them are born out of the idea that you might need it during the day. Whatever you decide to put in your bag is your choice. This may seem harmless, until you feel the first sign of pain at the back, shoulder or the neck.

Carrying a heavy bag all day can come with serious health concerns. If you are asking people if they think your bag is heavy, you probably are aware that it is. But how do you know that your bag is indeed too heavy for you to carry around? Here are some of the signs that it is:

Sign 1: When it causes frequent pain in the neck and shoulder area, your bag is too heavy. Whether it is strapped around your neck or hanging on one shoulder or simply handheld, you know your bag is too heavy when after a few minutes of carrying it with you, there’s pain at the neck and shoulder part of your body. It may not seem like something that’s too important to bother yourself with, but if your bag leaves your hands or your shoulders with red marks after carrying it for quite some time, you might want to reconsider the things you bring with you in that bag.

Sign 2: Numbing of the fingers and the hands means your bag is too heavy. The tingling sensations that you feel in your hand, particularly in the fingers or the numbing of these body parts, are telling you one thing – your bag is too heavy to bring. Some dismiss it as the feeling that you have after sleeping over one of your arms. But in truth, its effect is much worse. The pressure of the heavy bag is all in your hands. Over time, there can be a lot of irreversible nerve damage that takes a while to heal. Sadly, the numbing could come with pain, and it could only get worse.

Sign 3: A heavy bag can be a real headache both literally and figuratively. Some might find this funny that there is a connection between headaches and the heavy bag. But there is. The stress that the heavy bag puts on your body targets the neck. Shoulders and arms, but it could make you suffer from a terrible headache too. If you suffer from unexplainable headaches on days when you carry your heavy bag with you, then it probably is the reason for the headaches.

There is nothing more frustrating than not having what you need when you need it. But physiotherapists recommend that the weight of your bag should not be more than 10% of your total body weight. Now might be a good time to rethink what to bring.