Handbags and small day bags can cause shoulder and neck soreness and pain


Travelling can involve many hours out and about, sight-seeing and exploring new cities and places. We often take a small day bag with us to carry the essentials for that day. If you have a heavy day bag over one shoulder, it can pull on the muscles and nerves around the shoulder and neck, leading to neck soreness and shoulder pain.

Here are a few tips that may help avoid this happening to you:

  1. Use a cross body handbag or day bag with a wider strap while travelling. It distributes the weight of the bag across the shoulder and your trunk rather than one shoulder taking all the load.
  2. When you are lifting or carrying a few heavy items you may have bought on your escapades, set your shoulder blades, keeping them strong by pulling back and down. Also, keep your posture and neck upright and don’t allow your head to poke forward when carrying something heavy.
  3. Strengthen your shoulders and arms a few months before you set off travelling to reduce your chance of injuries. Try these simple exercises:


Three simple exercises to prevent your handbag or daypack causing holiday havoc


Push-ups from a wall:  

  • Stand up straight facing a wall.
  • Take a step back and place the palms of your hands on the wall at shoulder height and slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows, taking your chest towards the wall. Keep your body in a straight line and tighten your buttocks and abdominals. Try to keep your head from poking forward
  • Return to the starting position by straightening your elbows, lifting your chest away from the wall. Repeat x 10
  • As you improve you can progress these to push-ups on the floor from your knees and then from the toes.

Triceps dips on a chair.

  • Place your hands on the seat of the chair and use your arms to move yourself forwards towards the front of the chair. Walk your feet forwards so your legs are straight out or bent at the knees toward the edge.
  • From this position, use your arms to slowly lower your body directly down towards the floor by bending at the elbow. Keep your hands close to your body. Lift yourself up by straightening your elbows to complete the triceps dip. Keep your eyes level and looking forwards.
  • Repeat x10

Neck retraction:

  • Start in a seated position or standing upright with your shoulders pulled back and down. Look straight forward.
  • Tuck your chin in, to make a double chin and lengthen the back of your neck. Keep looking straight ahead with head high. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 times


I hope you find these tips useful for your next holiday adventure, Deb.