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Proper Backpack Use for Adults

By Donna Stark

Yes, even with the school year being nearly over, we are still going to talk about the negative effects caused by wearing heavy backpacks. Why? Well, because young children and teens aren't the only ones who wear them! Adults wear them too and some of us wear them every day of the year. Whether our backpacks are worn during our commutes to work or while hiking the trails, it's important that we know what to expect as well. So, if you are a backpack wearer, keep reading! You may learn a thing or two about keeping your spine happy and healthy.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

Most people aren't motivated to change the way they use their backpack until something happens, and unfortunately, that something usually involves pain. If you want to avoid the risk of injury, don't make the mistake of waiting that long. Keep an eye out for the following signs of improper backpack use. Here are some of the most common.

  • Back, neck, shoulder, or knee pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Abrasions on the shoulders from backpack straps
  • Tingling sensations down the arms
  • Slouched shoulders and forward head posture when wearing the backpack

How to Select and Wear the Perfect Backpack

If you are unsure of how to choose a backpack and wear it correctly, take a look at the following tips your local chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic recommend. They are sure to get you on the right track.

  • Choose a backpack that fits between the top of your shoulders and lower back
  • Make sure it has padded and adjustable shoulder straps, a waist belt, and extra compartments
  • If the weather is an issue, select one that is waterproof and made of lightweight materials
  • Once you have chosen the perfect backpack for your body type, it's time to learn how to wear it correctly. Here are some easy guidelines to follow.
  • Make sure the straps are tight so the backpack is pulled close to your body
  • Load the heavier, bulkier items in the center of the bag and distribute the rest of the weight evenly
  • Edit and remove items from your bag so it doesn't get too heavy

Pain-Free Days

Backpacks were created to make our lives simpler. They allow us to carry as much as we want while keeping our hands free. But unless you follow the tips above, simpler days won't be in your near future. If you don't wear your backpack correctly, you could end up with an injury and may be dealing with significant pain. So, take the time to buy the perfect one and use it the way it was designed. Doing so will make all the difference in the world!

To learn  more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodbury, Minn.

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