Doctors Warn Big Purses Could Lead To Big Pain - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/18/06-Tyler

Doctors Warn Big Purses Could Lead To Big Pain

Everywhere you look, it seems women of all ages are carrying purses the size of small suitcases.

Patti Mortis says it's because they are practical.

"I have to carry a large bag because the small ones, nothing fits in it," says Mortis.

Inside, the bags are packed with the usual items; a cell phone, a wallet, and maybe a bottle of lotion. Women have gotten so used to lugging all this stuff around, they don't realize how heavy it is.  

Dr. Janet Hurley of Trinity Mother Frances Health Clinic of Whitehouse says if a woman lugs a heavy purse around all the time, her back will begin to feel the stress, particularly if she carries the bag on the same side.

"If you're wearing it on this [right] side, these muscles of the shoulder are going to have to contract in order to hold the shoulder up. That pressure, that contraction that you don't realize is happening all day long, can cause some significant muscle spasms and soreness by the end of the day," says Hurley.

Dr. Hurley says women who are intent on carrying a big purse should try and carry only the necessities, and if they're going to be carrying the bag for a long period of time, they should switch shoulders periodically.

"If you're just taking it in and out of the office, and it's not a long distance, then it might not bug you too much.  But say, if you're taking it around with you all throughout the mall for a few hours, that weight is going to pull your shoulder down," says Hurley.

The women we spoke to say, at the end of the day, they can definitely feel the toll the purses are taking on their bodies.

But they add, as long as big is in, they'll probably keep putting beauty and fashion before comfort.

Dr. Hurley says the pain in the back and shoulder is generally temporary and can be alleviated if the women will take some of the weight out of their purses.

Hurley also says she sees similar symptoms in school-aged children who carry heavy back packs.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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