Fashion Hurts Your Posture

Fashion Hurts Your Posture

WOW! Fashion really does HURT!  I read a fantastic article called Is your handbag going to give you arthritis?  the article discusses how fashion trends are causing a multitude of pain and posture related problems such as slipped spinal discs and knee pain.  


Lugging around a heavy load can put years on your body.  Rishi Loatey of the British Chiropractic Association was interviewed by the Daily Mail Online regarding the dangers of women and men's fashion handbags on posture related pain, injury and overall health.


Laura Topham writes:


"Studies show half of women suffer pain from carrying heavy handbags — and now men are also suffering, according to new research by the British Chiropractic Association. 

‘Heavy man-bags — weighing, on average, 6.2 kg — put unbalanced strain and stress on the body, which can lead to pain, poor posture and health problems,’ says Rishi Loatey, of the British Chiropractic Association.

I’ve noticed a spike in patients experiencing pain in the neck and upper back due to carrying around heavy loads more frequently,’ he adds.

To see exactly how our bodies change when carrying a bag, I went along to Bupa’s Centre for Sports Medicine Excellence in Barbican, London. 

There, my movements while walking were recorded and analysed — both with and without my weighty 9 lb-plus handbag — to see the effects. The results were startling.

‘Carrying a bag has a huge impact on posture and movement,’ says Bupa physiotherapist Russell Stocker. ‘Though you might not notice it, your body dramatically adapts and compensates. This was even more pronounced when wearing high heels.’"

The images alone easily show how you can have compensations and dysfunctions that wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system.



As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I see the effects of these posture related pain issues every single day.

Collapsed arches, poor circulation, joint deterioration, excessive muscle tension, flaccid muscle tone, hunched upper back, digestive problems, you name it we see it!  Most of these problems are indicative of posture related pain.

Don't believe me?  In a review of more than 100 studies, scientists from UCLA found that poor posture is associated with breathing problems, falls, depression, and decreased quality of life, all of which shave years off life expectancy. (Source:  O, The Oprah Magazine, February 2009)

Once your postral balance is put off balance and placed under stress we are suscptible to muscle and joint related pain (age is NOT a factor).  Once pain arrives, it can go anywhere in the body (neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, ankles, feet, hands).


Over the course of months or years, your body will adapt to the positions you most often place it in.  This puts strain on the pelvis and spine, shifting them out of their correct alignment and causes imbalances within the entire musculoskeletal system.


Without correcting postural imbalances by engaging in restorative programs such as postural therapy or pilates, individuals with imbalanced load joints like the photos above will leave a person susceptible to injury, arthritis and chronic pain.

So what's the moral of this story?  Your posture matters!  You have to seriously weigh the cost of fashion!  I'm not against beautiful handbags, or knock-out stilletto's, but if you're not actively engaged in a postural restoration program, you're setting yourself up for a future of chronic pain.  The pictures tell the story.  You decide how the story ends.


Corrective Exercise programming is easy to do.  The results are profound.  And the best part?  It puts YOU in control.  You are responsible for your health, as much as you are responsible for what you wear on and put into your body.  As long as fashion reigns supreme, I'll always be in business!  


Please make sure you read the article in it's entirety and post your comments here for a healthy discussion.  Remember, when you balance the body, you relieve the pain!