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How Frequent Backpack Misuse Leads to Chronic Back Pain


As the Fall school semester rolls ahead there’s no short supply of pertinent things to do, but a quick review of how your kids’ backpacks are working is crucial.

Are they overloading them? Do they have the right one for their size and weight? Are they complaining of back or neck pain?

The American Chiropractic Association reported in 2013 alone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cited 5,415 backpack-related injuries treated at emergency rooms. Chiropractors point to the dangers of heavy backpacks, noting injuries ranging from acute back pain to chronic back pain to other types of damage.

“In my own practice, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of young children who are complaining about back, neck and shoulder pain,” says ACA’s Scott Bautch.

Limit the backpack’s weight to no more than five to ten percent of the child's body weight

A heavier backpack can cause your child to bend forward to support the weight on the back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.

More Backpack Safety Checks

Is the backpack the correct size for your child?

The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso, and it should not hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.

Does the backpack have two wide, padded shoulder straps?

Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into the child’s shoulders.

Does your child use both straps?

Carrying a backpack by one strap can cause a shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.

Are the shoulder straps adjustable?

This allows the pack to be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.

Does the backpack have a padded back?

A padded back protects your child from being poked by sharp edges from the contents.

Does the pack have several compartments?

Use the compartments to keep pointy or bulky objects away from the area that rests on your child's back.

Are all those materials really necessary?

Ask your child's teacher what can be stored at school.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help

Chiropractors are the highest-rated healthcare practitioners for low-back pain treatments with their patient-centered, whole-person approach.

They see everyone from small children to seniors and they may be able to help if your child is having back pain. They will review medical history and ask about the child’s daily routine.

They believe wellness and routine chiropractic care should be as basic to our lives as healthy diets and daily exercise. They offer the purest form of chiropractic care, providing full spinal adjustments using the diversified technique to check for subluxations, which are misalignments of the spine.

Subluxations are misalignments of one or more vertebrae in the spine and/or joints. When the misalignment is corrected it may have far reaching effects on back, neck and sciatica pain. It may also help with allergies, TMJ, arthritis, headaches and migraines.

As a wellness clinic the chiropractic focus is on daily stresses, aches and pain without use of medications or surgery. What better way to help your child make the most of the Fall semester.

If this direct focus on chiropractic wellness sounds just as great to you as it does to majority of the people in the U.S., make an appointment and find out more.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Parker Knight

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