With kids getting ready to go back to school, parents and teachers are getting their students prepared for a busy school year. One of the most common problems that children experience in school has to do with back pain. Many kids have to carry around heavy backpacks that are filled with enormous textbooks and computers for several hours per day. The straps on a typical backpack can pull on the shoulders, leading to neck pain, back pain, and shoulder pain. If this is not addressed appropriately, this can have a dramatic impact on a child’s quality of life. How can you prevent back pain in children that’s caused by backpacks? Keep reading to learn more…
Keep the Backpack Light
First, it is important to keep the backpack as light as possible. Ideally, the backpack should weigh no more than five or 10 percent of a child’s total body weight. This means that if your child is 100 pounds, the backpack should weigh no more than ten pounds.
The heaviest component in a backpack is the textbooks. Even though many of these textbooks are required for school, parents and teachers need to think about ways to limit the number of books in the backpack.
For example, there may be electronic versions of books that children can use instead. That way, the textbooks can stay in the locker until they are absolutely needed.
Bottom line: Keep the backpack light to prevent back pain in children. Keep in mind that bigger is not necessarily better.
Strategically Position Pointy Objects
Another common reason why children develop back pain has to do with pointy objects in the backpack. For example, there may be pencils, pens, or scissors that poke the child in the back as he or she walks. This can lead to an uncomfortable posture while walking, placing undue stress on certain ligaments and tendons in the back.
Therefore, consider moving pointy objects to specific components that are farther away from the back. By keeping these objects from poking a child in the back as he or she walks, it is possible to limit back pain and discomfort. When possible, remove these objects from the backpack to prevent pain from developing.
Look Where the Backpack Hangs
Finally, it is also critical to take a look at where the backpack hangs. The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline of a child. This means the bottom of the backpack should not be close to the hamstrings.
As the backpack hangs lower, it exerts more force on the shoulders. If the shoulders are continuously pulled downward, this can dramatically impact the posture of a child, shifting the spine out of alignment. This can place a significant amount of stress on ligaments, tendons, and vertebrae, leading to chronic back pain.
Consider adjusting the shoulder straps of the backpack so it doesn’t hang so low. This can prevent back pain from developing in children when they go back to school.
Work with Your Local Chiropractor To Limit Back Pain in Children
These are just a few of the many ways that teachers and parents can prevent back pain in children. It is also important for children to visit a chiropractor regularly. That way, a chiropractor can take a close look at a child’s spine and use adjustments to make sure the vertebrae, ligaments, and tendons are properly aligned.
As long as the vertebrae are properly aligned, the spine will provide appropriate support to the rest of the body, preventing chronic pain from developing. Make sure your child is ready for an active school year by visiting your local chiropractor for a spinal checkup. If you don’t have one, please give us a call. We’re always here to help!
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