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Is Your Handbag Giving You ‘Poshitis’?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Victoria Beckham is known around the globe as a former Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer.  Now, the mother of four, and wife of David Beckham, is adding another moniker to her title, and it’s not what you would expect.

Beckham’s penchant for carrying her oversized handbag on her bent elbow has led doctors to coin the term “poshitis” -- their word for patients they see with damaged elbows as a result of bending like [Victoria] Beckham.

“Your elbow was designed to be a moving joint, not a hook for your purse,” fitness therapy expert Jill Miller told ABC News.  “Sore necks, sore upper backs, sore shoulders and shoulders that have been pulled out of place and tendonitis in the elbows, these are all a direct result of carrying these handbags.”

Doctors say carrying bags that weigh more than 5 pounds can be hazardous to your health.  The good news for fashionistas is that the trend is now moving away from the oversized, carry-all bags and towards handheld clutches.

“This is on the upside of the trend curve,” Audrey Slater, fashion director of Redbook magazine, told ABC News of the smaller purse.  “It just looks chic and you don’t have to grimace on your face because you’re uncomfortable.”

While “poshitis” is in the spotlight now, it’s not only handbags that are causing damage to women’s bodies for the sake of beauty.

Women who squeeze into skin-tight jeans or wear tight shapewear to smooth their midsections might unknowingly suffer nerve damage, digestive disturbances and even potentially deadly blood clots.

For women who still aren’t completely aboard the clutch trend, experts recommend following these tips to lighten the load:

  • Two bags are better than one.  Always carry an extra bag with you.  That way if you have more to cart around, you can put it in this little bag and wear it on both shoulders.
  • Purses with long straps are better than short ones.  Wear the strap across your heart to better distribute the weight and give your shoulder a little break.
  • While they might not be the cutest options, the backpack and rolling bags are the best bet for your back.  The backpack gives you an equal distribution of weight on both shoulders, and the rolly bag takes the weight off your back altogether.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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