Lifting Heavy Backpacks in Early Childhood Leads to Chronic Back Pain.

Is Your Backpack Safe?

Back to school shopping time! Here at Backpacks All Day we think that students need to give their backpacks the attention it deserves.

We all remember our childhood and what a burden it can be when your bag is huge and you’re forced to carry around heavy books every day – especially if you happen to be attending on-campus classes on top of your online ones. As kids, we would often make our bag “seem” lighter by putting less stuff in or sometimes even placing it lower on one side of our hips because we didn’t know any better. One day this got out of hand and we were fully aware of the herniated discs we were asking for – and had no idea what was causing such intense back pain (that later turned out to be due to not having a comfortable backpack).

Back Pain

Overloading a backpack can lead to back pain

Childhood is a time where children are still growing, but this growth comes with its own set of problems. After several years of using crutches, children are left unable to walk without pain. The stress on the back from carrying heavy backpacks are to blame for these issues. It is important to be aware of the possible harmful effects of heavy backpacks. While this is not always the case, it is something to watch out for.

With the increasing prevalence of back pain, adults should be aware of the risks of back pain in childhood, and take steps to avoid it. When carrying heavy backpacks, focus on posture, hip placement, and weight distribution.

How can we lift the heavy backpacks more easily?

We all know that back pain is no laughing matter, but if you follow these simple steps, then the next time you wear your backpack you’ll be able to walk around comfortably without any problems! Now instead of only showing your kids what not do, teach them how it’s done right by modeling healthy shoulder and back habits right now.

  1. Keep your backpack as light as possible:  The weight carried should not exceed more than 10% of the child’s total weight.
  2. Size:  Select the proper size backpack for your child’s back.  It should not extend above the top of the shoulder, or below the top of the hipbone.
  3. Material:  The most back-friendly backpacks are made of lightweight materials such as vinyl or canvas.
  4. Comfort:  A backpack should have a padded back for extra comfort and protection.  The backpack should also have well-padded shoulder straps to ease pressure on the shoulders and neck, which can result in tingling and pain.
  5. Pockets:  Choose a backpack that has several pockets instead of one large compartment.  This will help to distribute weight and keep the contents from shifting.
  6. Packing:  The heaviest items should be loaded closest to the back. Position books and other materials in a way that prevents them from sliding. Pack any sharp items towards the front so they won’t dig into the back.
  7. Do not purchase knapsacks with only one strap:  By carrying the bag on the right side and then switching to the left, you will not balance the load.  Instead, you will strain both sides independently.
  8. Make sure that children wear both straps on their shoulder’s to distribute the weight evenly.
  9. Perform a daily stretching routine to prepare the muscles for work.
  10. Have your child perform a cool-down routine when your child arrives home to reduce stiffness/pain.
  11. Perform exercises specifically to strengthen muscles that are overworked.
  12. Develop proper eating habits that include appropriate calcium and magnesium.
  13. If possible, buy a second used set of textbooks for home to limit carrying books to and from school

Have your child examined regularly by a Chiropractor so that any potential spinal or postural problems can be addressed and corrected.

Here at the North York Madison Sports Injury Clinic we want to provide you with the best chiropractic care possible in North York. We offer many services from chiropractic adjustments, orthotics consolations, RMT, Physiotherapy, Kinesiology and Naturopathy. Make an appointment today!

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