Oh, we love our bad habits. (I have a particularly co-dependent relationship with mine). They tend to either look or feel good, and so we carry on doing them – even though bad habits can lead to chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.
These are the worst ones:
Handbags. We keep our lives in our handbags, which means they tend to be heavy. Studies by the British Chiropractic Association show that half of women experience pain from lugging around enormous handbags. When you carry a bag, your neck, shoulder and back are thrown out of alignment in order to help carry and balance the weight. This causes compression and tension, ultimately causing pain and inflammation.
High heels. If high heels didn’t exist, physios, chiropractors, masseurs and pharmacists would have to invent them. All those Louboutins and Jimmy Choos look gorgeous, but they force the spine out of alignment. Everything else has to adjust to compensate, leading to uneven wear on your discs, joints and ligaments, and inflammation and pain down the line.
Flip flops. You need two things in shoes: cushioning and stability. Flip flops offer neither – they don’t cushion your spine from the impact of the ground, and they do exactly what the name says: flopping around like a politician on the campaign trail. “By stabilizing the heel, your shoes should provide a solid foundation for the entire limb and spine,” says Dr Christine Lasich.
Your bra. Wearing the wrong bra can force the upper back, shoulders, neck and head to carry and compensate for the weight of your boobs, leading to stress and pain. Apparently, a lot of us wear the wrong bra size, dooming us all to arm boobs, sideboob, Cooper’s Droop and backache.