It’s officially the holidays and for many that means parties, family gatherings, and for the next few weeks, life on the move. For women that can mean a few hours here and a few hours there in uncomfortable shoes – all in the name of fashion. And when you add to that a handbag more than likely carrying everything but the kitchen sink, you have a recipe for disaster.
Let’s look first of all at the shoes. Women generally wear high heels to complement an outfit, not for comfort, but these shoes can cause serious discomfort in the feet because high heels alter the balanced position of a person's body. When a woman wears high heels, a new dynamic equilibrium occurs. In fact, wearing high heels for any length of time increases the normal forward curve of the back and causes the pelvis to tip forward. This alters the normal configuration of the pelvis and spine necessary for the body to maintain a center of gravity. Can you guess what happens next? Back pain.
Now on to the handbag. You’re busy, I get it, and have places to go and holiday events to see, so practically speaking you probably shove everything you might need for the day into your handbag. And then you might add everything your kids might need, and your husband’s wallet and keys and before you know it, you’re headed for trouble. Carrying a bag with detectable weight that is more than 10 percent of your body weight-can cause improper balance. When hiked over one shoulder, it interferes with the natural movement of the upper and lower body, and that can lead to a lot of pain.
So what to do? Well, there are some simple changes you can make to help you get through the holidays pain free.
- Wear comfortable shoes. If you must wear high heels, bring a pair of flat shoes along with you to change into should you become uncomfortable.
- Choose supportive shoes. Designer heels or non-supportive loafers may look nice but do not allow for easy, symmetrical walking.
- Select a handbag with a wide adjustable strap, preferably that is long enough to be worn cross-body. This will evenly distribute the bag’s bulk and make it easier to carry.
- When carrying a handbag, switch sides often. This will avoid placing the burden of the weight on one side of your body.
- Empty your bag each day of unnecessary items. Just removing a few things can make a big difference in the amount of weight and stress you are putting on your body.
So many people are more concerned about the way something looks rather than the way it feels. Listen to your body, if those shoes make your feet hurt to simply think about, don’t put them on. And if you do, or if you become immune to the weight of your bag and wake up in pain, the team at Carlson Chiropractic Center can help you get moving again, so you can make the most of the holiday season!