In this important post, your local Express Fort Worth chiropractor will explain the potentially harmful impact of wearing a backpack and ways to avoid doing damage to a growing spine.
The backpack may be the perfect bag. It is handy, simple, and great for everyday use. Regardless of what you need to carry, the backpack is known to make the task easier.
Despite how beneficial the backpack can be, have you ever thought of it affecting your health? Even though the bag can appear harmless, it can be starting a process that will cause issues down the line if it continues. No doubt, the weight of a student’s bag will increase as the workload increases, and its effect makes the use of a backpack something that we should examine.
What happens to the Body?
Carrying heavy backpacks, and especially incorrectly, can pull on the spine resulting in an unnatural spine position.
To compensate for a heavy bag, the child’s center of gravity will shift forward slightly. Even though this might be a small amount, the student’s head posture shifts forward which increases the head’s weight by 10-pounds for each inch. It is this head forward posture with downward pull from the backpack that creates bigger problems.
When the backpack of your child is heavy for his/her weight, the curvature happens. This makes the child shift the weight around by contorting their body to compensate for the bag’s weight.
According to recent studies, a backpack should be no more than 10% of the child’s body weight. However, studies show that 87-95% of girls between age 6-11 and 85-100% of boys between age 6-10 and are using bags that weigh above 10% of body weight.
Tips to Reduce the Impact
Stopping the use of backpacks is the best way to stop this, but we know that’s not reasonable. In the future, perhaps one laptop will take the place of many materials with the advent of technology. However, you can mitigate the issues caused by backpacks by following the tips below.
Pay attention to the bag’s position on the back
You can alleviate the issues caused by backpacks by ensuring that the bag is carried using the two straps. If you wear one strap, the body will tend to counter-balance with the single contact point, thereby compensating both forward and to the side. This creates double the problems. Ensure the you keep the bag closer to the child’s back by keeping the straps tight.
Pack heavy items to in the back of the pack
Place the heavier items closer to the pack’s center and closer to the child’s back. The significant weight the backpack has on the body will also decrease if the base is at least 2 inches above the waist.
Utilize the additional features
The easiest and best option to help you get the entire load’s strain off your back is by using rolling backpacks. However, this may not be the coolest trend because convincing your child to use it can be challenging. In that case, you can reduce digging into the shoulders and make the bag more comfortable for your child by going for backpacks with wide, padded straps.
You can also reduce the packs’ weight on the upper back and shoulders by utilizing the waist strap found on bags like most hiking backpacks. The waist strap helps to distribute the weight equally into the hips.
Use the proper lifting techniques
Although this is simple in theory, many people find it challenging to do continuously. The proper lifting technique is to keep an upright posture and then to bend and lift the backpack with your legs rather than your back or waist. Know that the bag is too heavy if your child has to swing the pack and use the momentum to get it up from the ground.
As well, you might need to show your child how to life the pack with his/her legs since most kid’s won’t really know what this means.
Pay attention to the pain
It is essential to make sure that your kids tell you when they are not comfortable so that you can begin to take steps to help them. If you don’t help them and the uncomfortable life continues, the body will start to normalize being in pain, meaning the child will just get used to it. This can result in long term issues. Be sure to ask your child if he has pain.
If your child is complaining, get his or her back and neck checked by a professional.
Options are the pediatrician, a local chiropractor near you or perhaps even a physical therapist.
Back and neck pain, and headaches, in kids this is often tied to backpack use. Search for “chiropractor (your city)” or “a chiropractor near me” and get your child checked for spinal subluxations (misalignments).
Chiropractic may be a good fit even if you don’t feel any discomfort at this time but want to start taking prevention action steps. Here at Express Chiropractic in Fort Worth, we are primarily a maintenance and wellness clinic focused on not only helping people get out of pain but also to detect any posture or range of motion issues that might result in bigger issues down the road.
Express Fort Worth Chiropractors will help to make sure your body is operating at the best it can so you can do the things you need to! We’d love to help you on your health journey to figuring out what we can do to help you and your children.