Is style solely a fashion statement or sometimes a societal reaction to pervasive injuries? And what does any of that have to do with neck surgery? It’s possible that choosing your bag may be a key part of your neck pain treatment. Gentlemen keep reading: if you lug a laptop around all day, this concerns you also.
Demure hand-held bags are finally trendy after years of luggage-sized shoulder bags (and luggage-sized neck and back problems). Super-size bags cause you to lean toward one side, to rebalance your center of gravity, flexing the spine into a C-shape. Compounding the problem, you most likely talk on your cell phone. When you scrunch your shoulder up to your ear, this can lead to neck pain. Treatment for mild strains might simply be a great massage and some patience. However, over the long run this postural habit can lead to more serious problems like herniated discs that might ultimately require back or neck surgery.
Men similarly face the same neck and back risks from carrying overstuffed bags over one shoulder while talking on the cell phone. The British Chiropractic Association refers to these as ‘man bags’ – a term which is not likely to catch on with the same enthusiasm in the US but nevertheless, men are now carrying all sorts of heavy things around everyday including laptops, newspapers, books, gym clothes and digital cameras. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends using a double shoulder-strap bag that evenly distributes weight across both shoulders. This prevents you from pulling your posture out of alignment, and scrunching your shoulder (straining your neck). Messenger styled laptop bags are also a good choice, especially if you remember to switch sides. The ACA recommends you carry a bag that is no heavier than 10 per cent of your body weight.
With smaller hand-held bags and the ubiquitous messenger bag, fashion may finally play a role with neck pain treatment and recovery from neck surgery, which repaired a prior injury. Your next project should be figuring out how to lighten your load — do you really need to drag your universe around with you everywhere you go?