Backpacks, Trainers and High Heels

It’s cool to be practical.

Really who am I to say what’s cool and what’s not, but from the patients that come my way at Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD I have a few ideas about what is practical…you be the judge on how cool they are!

I’m not going to lie, week days for me, the handbag stays at home and I am a backpack wearer. The weather is usually great in Sydney so I like to walk to work, but the headaches, shoulder and neck pain from a heavy over-the-shoulder bag are just not worth looking ‘cool’. I was quite relieved recently to read this article on mamamia, it seems I’m not the only one who thinks back-packs are the new cool.

As the article correctly mentions, carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder can lead to tight muscles in the neck and shoulder and lots of compensations in the neck all the way down your back and into your hamstring muscles. Carrying a backpack with adequate straps, so that both sides of the body are able to support its weight, is definitely a good way to minimise the impact.

The next topic is commuting in trainers. I think most of us would agree the sneakers and suit combo isn’t the best look in the world. Although if you’r e happy in your own skin, from a physio perspective I would certainly prefer this to walking miles in leather shoes or worse – ballet flats! A little organisation may be all you need to look a little ‘cooler’ by keeping your work gear at work and commuting in gym gear and sneakers. This way you look great, you’re getting fit, you’re not putting undue stress on your back, hips, knees and ankle joints and you’re avoiding overcrowded public transport.

My final rant is about high heels! I recently had a patient ask me why I wear a Tiffany’s high heel pendant around my neck, “Doesn’t that contradict what Physio’s are all about?”

My answer – “Certainly not!”

I love heels and I believe my job is to get females back into heels as soon as possible if that’s what they choose to wear. Everything in moderation of course. I wouldn’t recommend wearing heels if you are walking miles as heels change the forces going up through the ankle, knee and hip and give you a small and less stable base of support. This means your leg muscles and joint sensors have to work harder to keep you balanced and hence you can end up feeling stiff and sore as a result.

I don’t think I stand alone when I say that, as a Physio, my aim is certainly not to make you look as dorky as possible. I am just trying to make you the most comfortable you can be and to make the most out of your day without unwanted aches and pains!

Pop in and see us at Bend + Mend in our Sydney CBD Physiotherapy clinic if you need any other practical tips to make you more comfortable in your daily activities!!

Leave a Reply