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The 1 Type Of Bag That Spine Doctors Would Never, Ever Carry

As someone who likes to be prepared for anything, I typically travel with a full purse. I fill my tote bag with a spare sweater in case I get cold, a large water bottle so I’m never thirsty, sunscreen for reapplying, a makeup bag for touch-ups, plus all the usual suspects including my wallet, sunglasses, keys and more. When I worked in an office, I also toted a laptop daily (in addition to everything listed above).

My recent conversations with spinal doctors have me rethinking this strategy, however. “Overloading a bag with heavy items can be damaging to wrists, elbows, shoulders or back, depending on where it’s carried,” explained Dr. Kevin Lees, the director of chiropractic operations at The Joint Chiropractic in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Carrying less weight is always the priority. While you can change your bag to help distribute weight more evenly and comfortably, added weight will ultimately affect posture and gait.”

Apparently, the fact that I tend to stuff all those items into a one-shoulder tote bag makes matters even worse. In an effort to shoulder better bag-carrying habits, I spoke with three spine doctors who set the record straight on the best and worst habits for your body.

Improper bag use can have serious health consequences.

If you suffer from back pain, neck pain or stiff traps, your bag might be to blame. “When people wear an inappropriate bag, especially one that places undue strain on the spine, they will frequently develop shoulder pain along with lower neck and upper back pain,” saidDr. Luke Macyszyn, a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical treatment of complex spinal disorders at DISC Sports & Spine Center.

“These structures are all connected through the

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