The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recently released an article on the effect clothing and bags can have on the body. Generally, women (say it isn’t so) more than men have clothing items that can lead to pain or discomfort- bags being one of the most common. Heavy bags, tight clothes, and many shoes that men and women wear can have negative effects on the body:
- Heavy bags (such as briefcases or handbags) can put strain on the side of your body that they are carried on. When traveling, swap the side that you use to hold your bag often. Try not to over-pack bags, and keep bulky and extra items out of your pocketbook or backpack.
- Shoes with proper support are ideal. High heels change how the body balances and can cause instability when walking, leading to problems with the feet and back. Try to bring a pair of flats with you to change into after wearing heels for a while.
- If you carry a bag with over 10% of your body weight, it can cause a significant shift in balance, as the body compensates for the additional weight and gets used to the sudden change. Take items out of your bag to reduce weight, and use a bag that has a long, wide strap.
- Even keeping your wallet or ATM cards in your back pants pocket can create misalignment while sitting. Sitting all day with your wallet on one side can lead to problems with your back, spine, and hips.
Remember to pick clothing, shoes, and luggage that are lightweight, symmetrical, and provide freedom of movement. Take breaks to stretch when standing or sitting for long periods of time, and try to wear clothes that are non-restrictive for the majority of your time. Changes in balance and your center of gravity can affect your entire body. And over time those imbalances ferment into big problems. Chiropractic can help alleviate these imbalances, and the problem. If you or anyone you know is suffering from pain brought on by an imbalance-or any other reason-give us a call.
-Dr Shawn R Lee, Chiropractor.
Susquehanna Spine & Rehab; Chiropractic, Physical Therapy and Massage in Bel Air & Abingdon Maryland.