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Posted on 07-03-2017

Wallets and Purses: A Chiropractic Perspective

Chiropractor showing patient their spine after carrying a purse    

Did you know that your wallet or your purse could be putting your spine at risk? The most common problem with carrying a wallet is where a person holds it. Most women will carry their wallet or have it in their purse, but most men will carry their wallet in their pocket; more specifically in their back pocket.

Although this is common practice, it is absolutely harmful to your posture and your alignment, especially for those who carry a bulky wallet. Because the wallet only takes up one side of your body, sitting on a wallet can raise that side of your pelvis up to 2 inches. As a result of this, your body adapts and compensates by leaning more to one side, which causes an imbalance in your posture. Sitting on your wallet becomes a habit and built up bad habits accumulate and cause changes in your alignment, making you more susceptible to early degeneration, scoliosis and muscle imbalances. The best solution to this problem is to not have the wallet in your back pocket, no matter how thick it is. To avoid this, have the wallet in your front pocket instead and absolutely avoid sitting on your wallet, such as in the car, at your desk, etc. 

Women, you are not off the hook! Even though you have your wallets in your purse, these bags have a huge impact on your spinal alignment. Purses often require you to wear or hold them on one side. With repetitive use, you activate certain muscle groups to compensate for the extra weight on one side. This causes your spine to react and adapt to these repetitive forces, often resulting in asymmetry in the shoulders (one shoulder naturally sits higher than the other), especially for ladies who carry large loads in their purses.

How Does Carrying Wallets, Purses & Placement of These Impact Our Posture?

Over time, the spine adapts to this change in posture, often leaning more to one side. With this, imbalances occur and also makes one more susceptible to early degeneration, scoliosis and muscle imbalances. In order to avoid this, have the bag strap go across your chest and body, instead of weighing down on one side. On top of this, make sure to switch sides and not favour one side when wearing a purse or bag. Try to lighten to the load inside of your purse, or opt for bags that have two straps to even the load on the body. Make the same effort even when holding a purse in your hands, often switching from one side to another.  It takes some retraining in order to move away from our bad habits, but over time, bad habits like these can make us largely susceptible to subluxations (misalignments) and imbalances in the body, not only resulting in pain and discomfort, but changes in the natural function of our nervous system. 

Contact Your Chiropractor in Mississauga

If you’ve been experiencing changes as a result of improper wallet or purse use, do not hesitate to contact your Mississauga Chiropractor at (905)821-4951.   

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