Did you know that handbags can be hazardous to your heath? That sitting is considered the new smoking? And that your fashion footwear can literally be a pain in the neck … and back?

Eighty percent of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, studies show that lower back pain causes more global disability than any other condition. Interestingly, our fashion choices are often the culprit or contributing factor to posture woes that cause body aches and pains.

May is national posture month, a good time to remember the importance of chiropractic care for maintaining proper spinal alignment to thwart premature joint aging as well as potential musculoskeletal disorders. (Check out some posture tips here). It’s also a reminder to consider fashion’s impact on posture when purchasing your new spring outfit, or perhaps a gift for mom this Mother’s Day, such as:

Purses/Handbags: Slinging a handbag over one shoulder can cause neck misalignment, putting pressure on the nerves that can trigger tingling sensations down the arm, neck pain and headaches.  A smaller bag with thick straps, perhaps even a backpack, is a better health choice.  The bag should never weigh more than 10 percent of your total body weight (cash in those heavy coins and ditch unnecessary items!). Balance your body by intermittently switching the carrying shoulders.

High Heels:  Although a fashion favorite, stilettos, wedges and other high-heeled shoes alter the body’s center of gravity, throwing off balance and causing the pelvis to tip forward and the neck as well.  This forward head postures puts strain on muscles that support vertebrae in the neck; high heels also impact the curvatures in the spine, diminishing its ability to absorb shock and causing nerve problems like sciatica.  Choosing lower shoes, i.e. 1.5 inches or less, can help to minimize the strain; altering days/amounts of time spent in heels is also beneficial.

 

Flip Flops: With their lack of support and shock absorption, these summertime staples can wreak havoc on your back, hips and knees, and are a fall/trip hazard.  Choose brands that provide some arch support (i.e. Crocs) and minimize wear time.

Tight Clothing: Studies have shown that low waist or tight jeans can impact the musculoskeletal system as the body makes postural adaptations to compensate for the imbalances from restrictive clothing.  A narrow shirt can cause the shoulders to hunch forward; a large belt can restrict breathing.  Choose comfortable, properly fitting clothes over the latest constricting fad.  Your back will thank you!

A chiropractic posture analysis can help determine the source of your pain.  In addition to correcting any misalignment, we can offer exercises to help you strengthen core postural muscles and recommend proper postures during your activities to help reduce risk of injury. Make your appointment today!