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Natural Awakenings National

It’s in the Bag: Heavy Purses a New Nemesis

Today’s super-sized handbags are dishing out an epidemic of sore shoulders, stiff necks and painful backs. It’s gotten so bad that doctors, massage therapists, and chiropractors now tailor treatments for the fashion- and designer-bag obsessed, writes J. Courtney Sullivan in The New York Times.

“In the last year or so, I’ve been seeing the same kinds of issues with adult women that I’m used to seeing with kids who carry heavy backpacks on one shoulder,” says Karen Erickson, a chiropractor with a private practice on New York’s Upper West Side, and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association. She sees women experiencing neck pain, not just while they’re carrying their purses, but all the time. A lot of them even get bad headaches. “Lately, when a patient comes in complaining of these symptoms, I walk over and pick up her purse,” she says. “Without fail, it weighs a ton.”

Smart trendsetters understand the “less is more” look when it comes to handbags. Carrying only absolute necessities helps, abetted by a weekly cleanout. Regular massage for any pain, as well as gentle stretching and warm baths with Epsom salts at home also can spell relief.

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