Monday, 23 January 2012

Upper Back Pain Caused By Shopping Bags?

For a few weeks I've had a niggling ache at the top of my back, mainly at the side where I carry my bag over my shoulder.  This is my bag which I've been using for about 4-5 months.

It is quite big and because of that I have always had a tendency (when I have a big bag) to put anything and everything in there.  I realised that these niggles were most probably caused by carrying something which weighs several pounds over my shoulder but didn't do anything about it.  I have no reason whatsoever in day to day life to carry anything more than my purse and a reusable shopping bag.  I very rarely go any further than our local town or shopping outlet, both of which are within easy walking distance so carrying all manner of stuff in my bag is just not necessary.

Yesterday was a turning point though. I carried a big bag of potatoes and 4 pints of milk plus some other bits back from town and it was extremely heavy.  Last night my back was really hurting. Much more so than previously so this morning I got out a smaller bag which is one of those across body types so the weight is distributed more evenly and made sure I only put the essentials in it.

Much less pain on the old back.  However I walked to Asda after the school run and whilst my shopping wasn't particularly heavy I really felt it especially on the side I carried the heavy potato and milk bag yesterday.  I'm guessing I've pulled something yesterday that was already weak from carrying all the unnecessary stuff around in my shoulder bag.

I always do the main supermarket shop in the car but usually stock up on fresh stuff  two or three times a week aswell which involves walking and carrying.  Until it starts to get better those extra trips will have to be reassessed and heavier things will have to come from our local shop regardless of the extra cost.

Painkillers and deep heat are the order of the day I think.


Lizzie said...

That sounds about right! My osteopath told me to stop carrying a one-shoulder bag and never to carry heavy shopping (I have an ongoing back issue...). She did explain that the weight actually squashes your back - the bones and discs will be squished up, which will pull the muscles out of place; and also the other way round - muscles pulled on, which shifts the skeleton about too.
Good plan to go for a smaller and lighter bag, which you can put across your body.
Next suggestion: if you can bear to... buy a Granny Trolley -you know, one of the pull-along bags-on-wheels... There are some funky designs available now - mine is black, with big white polka dots and a red flap at the top. It has a soft spongy grip thing on the handle, which is curved and quite cool. It's the best I could manage in the way of "not-being-a-granny-yet-but-needing-a-granny-bag"...
Or... get someone else to carry your shopping!
Hope your back is better soon.

Anonymous said...

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