As school approaches once more, children, teens, and even college students are headed back to school with backpacks full of notebooks, pencils, paper, and seemingly endless school supplies. As the school year progresses, their backpacks will continue to be full of books and homework as they go from class to class and from school to home. Unfortunately, heavy or incorrectly positioned backpacks may be causing back pain among many children or adults. An ill-fitting backpack can actually cause damage to the spine that can lead to chronic pain. Before back pain can become an issue, be sure to consider these backpack safety tips from a Bentonville chiropractor.
Wear a Backpack Securely
Poorly fitting backpacks contribute to a lot of the back pain that students experience. For a proper fitting backpack that will minimize the strain put on the body, ensure that both straps are on the shoulders and shoulder straps are adjusted to fit the student. When students use just one strap to carry a backpack, it can lead to neck spasms or back pain because the weight of the backpack is not distributed evenly. Backpacks that hang loosely instead of being fitted snugly to the body can cause spinal misalignments that lead to back pain. Padded shoulder straps are recommended so that the backpack does not dig into the shoulders. Should you suffer from spinal misalignments due to improper use of a backpack, turn to a Bentonville chiropractor for help. Gentle adjustments can remove spinal misalignments to alleviate back pain.
Limit the Weight of a Backpack
Another problem among students today is the fact that they carry many heavy books from class to class, making their backpack extremely heavy. A weighted down backpack will cause students to have to slump forward more to support the weight, leading to improper posture and thus back and neck problems. Individual compartments inside a backpack can be beneficial for supporting the weight of a backpack. Place heavier objects closer to the back and lighter objects farther out in the backpack to manage the weight properly. It is also suggested that a backpack should weigh no more than 5 to 10 percent of a student’s body weight to prevent back problems, so help your student learn to prioritize what needs to be in their backpack each day and what doesn’t.
Make Chiropractic Care a Part of Your Regular Health Routine
If your child or teen complains of back or neck pain, following these backpack tips can help. But if pain persists, consider chiropractic care from Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela. Dr. Niemela can address the root cause of back or neck pain—spinal misalignments—to provide relief. Gentle adjustments will not only help with pain, but they will also improve the health of the whole body. Proper spinal alignment means the central nervous system can function as it should, without interference, which can relieve chronic pain, alleviate headaches, and even increase immune system function so your child can stay healthy all year long.
Consider all the advantages chiropractic care can have for you and your family this year. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic for decreased back pain and increased quality of life.
American Chiropractic Association. “Backpack Safety Tips”. https://www.acatoday.org/patients/health-wellness-information/backpack-safety
Triano, J. “Backpacks and Back Pain in Children.” Spine-Health. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/backpacks-and-back-pain-children.