It’s almost time to send the kids back to school and with all the supplies requested by schools, you might be concerned about how heavy their backpacks will be! Preventing back pain and growth problems in their children is a high priority for parents, and one that Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life shares as a fellow parent, which is why she is passionate about providing excellent chiropractic care for children.
The American Chiropractic Association, or ACA, attributes overloaded backpacks as a contributing factor in young children’s back pain. According to studies conducted in France, “the longer a child wears a backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself.” The ACA suggests regular chiropractic care for children and provides the following suggestions for preventing problems due to a heavy backpack.
- Buy a backpack with wide, padded straps and urge your child to wear both of them. Carrying it on one shoulder causes weight to be shifted to one side and increases the chances of neck and shoulder pain or spasms.
- Choose a backpack with adjustable shoulder straps so it can be worn close to the body. A loose backpack is more likely to cause spinal misalignment and low-back pain.
- Also look for a backpack with individualized compartments to aid in distributing weight and ensuring pointy objects are positioned away from their back.
- Position the backpack so it is not more than 4” below your child’s waist. If there is too much pressure on their shoulders, either from too heavy or too low of a load, then your child will lean forward to compensate and their posture will suffer.
- Most importantly, make sure their backpack weighs no more than 5-10% of your child’s body weight.
As you can see, almost every part of the muscular-skeletal system can be affected by backpacks from strained necks to tight shoulders, lower back pain, and sore hips and knees. With so many areas that could be injured from toting around a heavy backpack, regular chiropractic visits are so important to keep their spines aligned and support their optimal health! As a mom of school-age kids, Dr. Jess understands the parent’s perspective and places a high value on giving the best possible chiropractic care for children in her practice.