Backpacks Can Cause Pain: 4 Tips Prevent It

By Virginia Laird

Back-to-school life will have most students carrying a heavy load attached to their back. Chiropractors would recommend, when available, students should carry a rolling backpack to avoid putting strain on the spine. However, many schools may not allow this. Always check your school's guidelines before investing in a backpack. For those who cannot use rolling backpacks, some tricks to teach that can help prevent back pain can include:

  • Always use both straps
  • Heaviest items go closest to the back
  • Keep the straps tight
  • Stand up straight

Always Use Both Straps

The fastest way to cause back pain is to carry the backpack using only one strap. There are two straps to help distribute the weight evenly. This can help prevent the load from tugging the spine to one side or the other. An uneven load can cause the spine to shift, restricting function. Although, a chiropractor can easily adjust the spine back into place, some say that damage can become more difficult to fix over time.

Heaviest Items Go Closest to Your Back

The closer to the body the heavier items are, the less strain the back may feel as it carries the load. Putting the heaviest items in the backpack first can allow the legs to help support the weight of the bag. When the legs support the back in this task, it can help prevent injury.

Keep the Straps Tight

As recommended by chiropractors, parents should take the time to teach their student how to properly adjust the straps of the backpack. The bottom of the backpack should sit two inches above the waist. The straps should be snug enough to keep the bag from moving all around. The backpack should never come lower than the buttocks, as this can hamper the stride as well as cause too much strain and pull at the spine.

Stand Up Straight

Many students sporting a heavy load may find themselves walking slightly leaned forward. This can be harmful to the back. It is better to stand up straight and have good posture when carrying a heavy load. Chiropractors suggest that leaning forward can cause the spine to shift, restricting function, which can be painful.

Teaching these tips to your student can help keep unwanted back pain at bay. If your student struggles with back pain, stop by The Joint Chiropractic in your community to get additional help identifying his or her needs.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.

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