Heavy purse can be a burden on back

WASHINGTON – Those who carry purses usually don’t give the act a second thought, but it turns out it may deserve one.

Once a bag is packed with keys, a wallet, phone, makeup and a myriad of other items and then thrown over a shoulder, it can weigh its wearer down.

Purses can weigh more than 5 pounds — even more when belts and buckles are taken into account.

At those weights, they can cause back problems.

ABC News reports trendy but heavy bags cause neck and upper back pain, including headaches and arm numbness or tingling, which means nerves are being pinched.

Some solutions, other than lightening the load, are to try two bags instead of one. Wearing one on each shoulder distributes the weight better. Long straps also are better than short ones when worn across the body.

The best option for a back is either a backpack or a bag on wheels.

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow Veronica and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)