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What’s in Your Bag? Heavy Purses Can Cause Back, Neck Pain

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- That designer bag may look fabulous on your arm, but what is it doing to your back?  

Carrying bags that weigh more than five pounds can be hazardous to your health, doctors say.  That’s why ABC's Good Morning America decided to launch its very own “Purse Intervention,” weighing women’s purses across the country.

GMA ambushed women on the streets of New York and Los Angeles and found women are lugging around tons of extra weight with purses that weigh in the range of 5 to 10 pounds, and some even more.

But it’s not just what’s inside the bags that creates the weight.  With heavy buckles and grommets,  belts and more, trendy purses today have accessories of their own, which add to the load.

While it may seem minor, there are some fairly serious injuries heavy bag carrying can cause, including headaches, neck and upper back pain, even arm numbness and tingling if the nerves are being pinched, explains New York City chiropractor Dr. Randi Jaffee.

So what’s a girl to do?  Follow these tips from the experts to help lighten the load:

Two bags are better than one.  Always carry an extra bag with you.  That way if you have more to cart around, you can put it in this little bag and wear it on both shoulders.

Purses with long straps are better than short ones.  Wear the strap across your heart to better distribute the weight and give your shoulder a little break.

Backpacks and rolly bags are the best bet for your back.  The backpack gives you an equal distribution of weight on both shoulders, and the rolly bag takes the weight off your back altogether.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio