Carrying a heavy bag

I have tried to minimise what I need to carry around for work but even the bare minimum is heavy and straining my neck and shoulder muscles. I was advised to use a shoulder bag by a physiotherapist but now I'm wondering if a backpack might be a better option. Ant tips, hints or recommendations would be much appreciated, please and thank you.

14 Replies

  • I had this problem too and found that I couldn't cope with getting a backpack off and on so I got a really lightweight briefcase on wheels and used that with a tiny shoulder bag for personal stuff. I managed fine as long as I didn't have to go up and down long flights of stairs. Having a briefcase rather than a small case meant I felt less self conscious about guarding my confidential stuff - made it seem more professionaI I guess !

  • Have you tried a cross body bag with a nice wide strap?

    But if you have to carry really heavy stuff what about a cabin bag on wheels...get one with a wheel at each corner.....with that style you just have to glide it don't even have to pull it!

    I'm on holiday in an apartment in the sun at the moment & I took mine along to the supermarket to stock lugging plastic supermarket bags for me!

    Happy gliding!

  • Hi crashdoll , i use a crossbody hand bag and if im away for a weekend i use a rucksack , i can manage this better than a pull along case as you have to lift it up steps or stairs 😀

  • Hi crashdoll

    I dont know what items you are carrying around with you but in the job I do when we move between offices we used to use a small case like one of the small wheelie aircraft cabin cases.The size that fits neatly into an aircraft cabin and has wheels.

    These are usually big enough for all your work paraphernalia and your handbag,etc. Lunch box and even a spare pair of comfy shoes if you need them.

    Its not putting any strain on your shoulders as you will be pulling it along behind you.

    Take care.



  • Maybe before investing in a specific type of bag, shoulder or backpack, try using a smallish luggage trolley, or crate trolley with your existing bag. Many of the female & some male medical reps we had visiting the Surgery I worked at used both with success. Something like these

  • It's a briefcase on wheels for me and no-one looks at me going into a lift as I'm pulling a wheelly bag so how else would one go up and down stairs?


  • I use a back pack it evens the load

  • It's different for everyone but I often use bags from Healthy back Bags. Cross between a backpack and shoulder bag, but you can adjust it round yourself easily to access the contents. They're also available in very light fabrics which helps. Good because they're 'hands free' as well, handy when out with the grandchildren

    I agree with all the trolley suggestions as well, but do find that dragging a wheeled crate or bag sometimes annoys my hands and wrists. So it's a choice between whether to annoy shoulders or hands - either way I'm annoyed!

  • The trolley with four wheels is the answer you just glide it along beside you. I've even bought the larger size as I find dragging along a heave bag hurts my neck & shoulder.

    Of course what we all need is a willing bag carrier! Or a Donkey!

  • Thank you for all the suggestions.

    I work in various locations and need constant access to our IT systems, so I have a work iPad and I can only type on it with a keyboard case thing which isn't very lightweight. I also carry around the usual; purse, keys, phone and satnav. Listing it all makes it sounds not that much but it is surprisingly heavy!

    I'm not a big fan of wheely cases because I take my iPad to client homes and shleping the case seems a bit strange and not very fitting with my role but I suppose I could get over that. I'll definitely need some practice. I did use a wheely for a short while and kept tripping over it as I walk with one elbow crutch.

    My current bag is a crossbody one with a thick strap. It's a lightweight material. I'm very sensitive to any pressure due to nerve entrapment in my neck and one shoulder is really bad. I am going to have a look at the various things suggested and see what will work. Thank you again.

  • Have you tried one of the flight cases the type pilots use that can have wheels and have an extendable handle that you can hust pull along rather than having to carry the weight?, but yes in theory a back pack should spread the load more evenly than a shoulder bag. I use a bsck pack on my wheelchair which means having to sit forward or where it back to front ie across my chest but there is no other way i can carry some things.


  • I find whatever bag or backpack I use I get shoulder pain after about a while. I have a cross shoulder bag on advise of OT and carry the absolute minimum, purse, phone, pen, and very little else and still get problems. I complain my bag is heavy and my family can't see that all even though they're very understanding. Don't see what I can do about that.

  • Objectively, everyone does agree that my work bag is heavy but I've got the lightest device. It was hideous when we had old style brick laptops!

  • Back pack for sure! I got one and I still use it now. I LOVED a handbag back in the day but arthritis stopped that for a few years and I haven't looked back. Invest!! Backpacks are super cool now xxx

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