Special Report: Larger Bags Can Cause Serious Back Problems

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - While the latest in technology is getting smaller, from TVs to cell phones; the latest in fashion is getting bigger. Especially when it comes to purses, but that could lead to serious problems for your back.

"Heavy purses are a big problem. Women want to carry everything everywhere they go. Whether it be their keys, chains, water, bowling ball, I don't know just everything," Dr. Ben Casey Quiroz, said.

Dr. Quiroz of Hollander-Quiroz Chiropractic says lately he's seen a problem in women and children carrying that extra weight on their shoulders, not realizing the damage it can do to your back.

"Through out the day, what they're doing is twisting their body in such a way to maintain the added wait on one specific side of the body and over a period of time it will rub the joints the wrong way and eventually becoming artheritic," Dr. Quiroz said.

Betty Saenz says she's guilty of carrying around that extra weight, because she says she needs the bigger purse to fit everything she needs through out the day.

"A lot! Everything like make up, bills, papers, everything. The bigger the better right? As women we tend to carry bigger purses cause we think we need them," Saenz said.

Just how much extra weight are you straining your shoulders with? 

First, Betty was weighed with her purse at 122 pounds. 

Then we put her back on the scale, this time with out her purse on her shoulders, and the result?

Right at 129 pounds, so she has a seven pound purse.

To give you a visual of what it can do to your posture, Dr. Quiroz took an X-Ray of me with and without my purse to show you how much damage carrying a heaving purse around can do to your spine and shoulders.

The problem doesn't only lie in women with purses, but kids with heavy back packs as well.

"Whenever kids use the back pack and the weight is equally distributed between both arms that's pretty safe, but when you over fill the back pack 60 lbs. on a 60 lbs. kid that's when their leaning back trying to compensate on the added weight and end up hurting their lower back," Dr. Quiroz said.

So how do you avoid serious back problems? The solution is simple and common sense.

"The biggest way to tackle this problem is to cut down on the size of this purse. If you have a smaller purse, you're not going to fill it with as much," Dr. Quiroz said.