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Can a Laptop Bag Be the Cause of My Back Pain?

carrying laptop bagIn a word – Yes!

Because this bag is usually heavier than you think. In addition to the laptop, it often includes a charger, a water bottle, a notebook, and any number of other items. It all adds up.

And then there is the way we usually carry this bag, over one shoulder, putting the entire skeletal structure out of whack.

Shoulder bags like this also affect the way we walk. We don’t move along naturally, letting the arms swing. When we swing one arm more than the other, this affects the neck and shoulders by increasing the exertion on one side.

Further, the trapezius muscle, on top of our shoulders, can tighten and spasm from the extra weight. The curve in the neck can also decrease as a result of carrying the heavy weight of a laptop bag for an extended period of time, possibly causing our posture to change for the worse.


But I need to have my laptop with me. What can I do?

Many people address this issue by using a backpack, which allows the weight to be carried more evenly. You may not find this convenient, but a roller bag also could make a tremendous difference.

Other recommendations include:

  • Switch shoulders regularly when you can’t avoid using a single-strap bag.
  • When putting on our taking off the strap, try to avoid an extra twisting.
  • If it’s a short strap that you carry with your hand, regularly move it from your left hand to your right hand.
  • Choose a laptop bag with thick straps, because a thin strap is more likely to dig into your muscles and lead to problems.
  • Choose a bag with shorter straps, because the further the bag is away from your center of gravity, the more strain it will cause
  • Try to carry less than 10 percent of your body weight.
*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery