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Ouch! My Bag Is Killing Me

Excerpt from the New York Times (2006): read the full article here


In the last few years, bags have become ever more voluminous, and as women have fallen sway to their chunky charms, they have filled them up with necessities. These days many women are as burdened as mail carriers. As a result, reports of shoulder soreness and stiff necks are on the rise and doctors, massage therapists and chiropractors are tailoring treatments for the bag-obsessed.


For the past several months, Robin Ehrlich, the director of the Eastside Massage Therapy on the Upper East Side, has observed clients old and new staggering under the weight of huge purses and griping about neck pain. “It’s an epidemic,” Ms. Ehrlich said. “We’re busier than ever before right now and big bags are the reason.”


A common side effect is that one shoulder becomes slightly higher than the other, she said. “A lot of women talk on their cellphones while they’re carrying these bags, which only intensifies the problem, because in addition to balancing too much weight on one side, they’re lifting the shoulder at the same time.”


Ms. Ehrlich recommends weekly massages for the pain. Gentle stretching and warm baths with Epsom salts can help bag abusers, too, she said. But she would never tell a client to ditch her Mulberry Elgin tote.“It’s like telling a woman, ‘You cannot wear Manolo Blahniks,’ ” she said. “It’s just not realistic.”

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