Was a big purse on your wish list this holiday season? It's one of the biggest fashion trends this season, but experts say those over-sized bags may leave you with back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and possibly even arthritis.
'I see so many women with neck pains and headaches and what I usually do is look for their purse and pick it up,' says Jane Sadler, M.D., family practice physician on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at Garland.
'We take it over to the scale and weigh it and usually they're anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds.'
The new extra-large purses mean women are carrying more, causing an imbalance as they walk and stand.
'If you think about how you carry a bag, it's usually on one side and you kind of pull your neck to one side and lift your shoulder. It's a very unnatural position,' says Dr. Sadler.
That kind of weight pulling down on you for several hours at a time can leave a lasting impression.
'It creates strain along the neck and into the nerves that exit the neck and down the shoulder so it can be very painful later on for many women,' adds Dr. Sadler.
So how heavy is too heavy when it comes to your purse? Dr. Sadler says that if you're carrying your cell phone, makeup and wallet in your purse that's already too much. If your purse is uncomfortable when you put it on, if you can feel it pulling on your shoulder, or if it weighs more than just a few pounds, Dr. Sadler says it may be time to downsize your bag.
'We're really going to see women with more and more problems later on if we continue the big purse craze,' Dr. Sadler says.
Here's a couple of tips to help you lighten your purse load: try downsizing your wallet only carry the credit cards and cash you need, leave the oversized makeup bags at home, and carry your cell phone with a clip on your body.