Ladies, you often heft heavy bags onto your shoulder. Guys, you keep it simple, paring down to a bulky wallet stuffed in a back pocket. Moms and dads you frequently carry toddlers and small children on your hip. All of these common habits can contribute to chronic back, neck and shoulder pain. Even kids can develop chronic pain from carrying heavy backpacks equal to (or in excess of), their actual body weight. Kids toting a bass drum or tuba for band practice can result in mysterious sore aching muscles and back, neck and shoulder pain.
Heavy Bags & Other Accessories
Schlepping heavy purses, backpacks, and computer bags can a the source of neck, back and shoulder pain. When carried on one shoulder, the extra weight causes you to lean to one side, and the other side to contract, stressing muscles (especially in shoulders), resulting in chronic pain. Accessories like bangles, bracelets and/or large rings can put excessive pressure on the hands, fingers and joints.
Flip flops and high heels
Flimsy footwear, like strappy sandals or cushy flip flops, affect more than just your feet. High heels tilt the pelvis forward, destabilizing the ankle joint, over-arching the back which places excessive pressure on the balls of feet. For example, 3” heels increase the pressure on the balls of the feet by up to 76%. Flip-flops offer neither support nor protection for feet, and even sometimes contribute the development of plantar fasciitis.
Up-dos are great for special occasions, but for everyday wear, tight hairstyles pull the head forward and tighten the skin around the skull, causing tension headaches. In some cases, routinely clasping hair in tight bands or braids can cause hair loss.
Guys are notorious for stuffing wallets into their back pockets. However, sitting on bulky wallets torques the pelvis, forces one side to angle too high. This misalignment causes everything else to shift, but not in a good way. When the hips rotate, one side is more contracted than other, which tilts one shoulder and leads to chronic pain.
Clothes which compress organs can impede efficient digestion. Tight clothing restricts movement, causing muscle strain. If your rib cage becomes restricted, shallow breathing can result. And remember, spandex can be friend or foe, depending on your body type, the fit and the occasion.
Massage can do a lot to soothe aches, relief pain and release muscle tension and stress. Be sure to discuss any pain and stiffness you are experiencing with your massage therapist. Together, you may be able to determine the source of chronic pain to prevent recurrence.