Is Your Backpack Contributing to Back Pain?

If you are a student, have ever been a student, or are the parent of a student, then you know how heavy a backpack can get. With all of the school supplies and books, backpacks will often shock you at their total weight. It adds up quickly, often weighing in between twenty and fifty pounds. And then we haul these heavy bags around all day! While you may have noticed this as an annoyance or even as a fact of life, it has recently been proven that carrying around a backpack that is too heavy can be detrimental to your health.

What Harm Can It Do?

In recent years, chiropractors have seen an influx of students complaining of neck, back, and shoulder pain. The heavy bag literally pulls the bones, ligaments, and muscles downward creating stress in strange places. It also contributes to misalignments of the spine. These misalignments often lead to aches and pains, fatigue, and other negative side effects. If not addressed properly, this misalignment can cause long term pain and side effects.

What Can Be Done?

One option is to learn how to use a backpack properly. Unfortunately, slinging a low slung backpack over one shoulder, as most people do, only contributes to the problem. Instead, the backpack should be snugly fit over both shoulders, as was intended originally. The straps should never allow the backpack to hang low on the back.

It can also be beneficial to limit the supplies that weigh the bag down in the first place. In a perfect world, according the American Chiropractic Association, the backpack should never weigh more than 10% of the bodyweight of the person carrying it. For a child, that can be a really tough feat to accomplish. It might require finding a new way to carry heavy objects like books.

How Can I Fix the Existing Problems?

One of your best solutions, besides fixing the manner in which you use the bag, is to seek the help of a chiropractor. Chiropractors at The Joint may be able to perform spinal manipulation to get the spine back in its proper alignment. Regular chiropractic care has been shown to help correct the damage caused by a heavy bag and even prevent further damage in the future. Chiropractors at The Joint may be able to help with your pain, as well as get you on a path to a healthier body and life.

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