If you love to carry a heavy water bottle, makeup, extra clothes, and haircare products inside your bag, then think again. Shoulder issues may arise because of carrying a too heavy bag. It can also lead to neck and back problems, postural issues, and spinal problems. You need to consult a professional, like an orthopedic on this website, if you experience any of these signs.

In this article, you’ll learn the subtle signs that your bag is too heavy and might be causing problems on your shoulders.

1. Unhealthy Way of Walking

Muscle strains occur because your bag is too heavy. One subtle sign is walking unnaturally because it can throw off your body balance, most especially if it is part of your daily routine.

Your body compensates by extending one foot longer to make a step, and your other foot takes small steps to avoid tipping over. Postural imbalance can lead to problems with your spinal disc or other parts of your nervous system.

Here are some tips to promote proper body balance:

  • Use bags with two or more shoulder straps
  • Use a case with wheels if you need to carry a lot of stuff with you
  • Avoid carrying the entire weight of your bag on just one shoulder
  • Limit carrying anything up to 1.5 kg

2. Numbness and Tingling Sensation

Aside from unexplained headaches, numbness and tingling sensation are also subtle signs. The extra weight on the shoulder can lead to neck pain and general muscle tension.

Here are some tips to avoid straining your shoulders:

  • Switch your bag to the opposite sides regularly.
  • Position the bag in front of your body.
  • Wear a body bag instead

3. Marks or Indentation on Your Shoulder

One of the tell-tale signs that your shoulder bag is too heavy is if you notice indentations on the skin of your shoulder. The heavy weight of your bag causes these marks.

4. Pulling Sensation Felt In Your Back

Your bag should be light enough so you can quickly toss over and pick up your bag. If not, a pulling sensation is noticeable because your muscles start to overwork. Heavy bags pull down on your shoulders which cause excessive muscle strain and fatigue to your shoulders and neck.

5. Tilted Body

You can assess your body by picking up your bag and look in the mirror if you’re slumping to one side. If you do, it means that it is weighing you down which leads to postural problems.

You’ll eventually feel chronic pain overtime which radiates to your shoulders, scapula, and low back area.

6. Unexplained Headaches

While it is true that headaches can be a sign of several health issues, it can also be caused by carrying a heavy bag. It forces your muscles to overwork. Over time your muscles remain unevenly contracted causing headaches.

Here are some tips to ensure you’re wearing the bag right:

  • Switch to a backpack to prevent one side of your body to weigh down.
  • Avoid bags with chain handles and long straps.
  • Avoid slouchy bags. Choose bags with structure (e.g., case bags, bags with shape, firm-based bags) so the weight inside is adequately distributed.

7. New Bag Worn Out Quickly

While leather bags can sustain heavy items better, human-made bags tend to wear quickly because of the extra weight. If it happens in almost all of your bags, it only means one thing — you’re hurting your back and your shoulders.


You can prevent shoulder, neck, and back problems by carrying your bag the right way. Also, switching your bag from one side to another on a regular basis is proven beneficial.  Invest in high-quality bags and limit its load capacity. Keep the tips mentioned above to safeguard your health, most especially your shoulder joints.