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Did you know that young children often experience pain from carrying heavy backpacks to school? According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), young children are suffering from back, neck, and shoulder pain much earlier in age than found in previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a major contributing factor.

A child holding a bunch of heavy books and having a heavy backpack on back

This interesting phenomenon is not surprising when considering the amount of weight students carry in their backpacks. Balance and safety are important factors; it is important for children to wear both shoulder straps with the bag central to the middle back. Lugging the backpack around by one-strap places more weight on one side of the body and that can lead to neck and muscle spasms as well as low-back pain.

The ACA believes that limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight and using ergonomically correct backpacks are possible corrective measures. A heavier backpack causes children to bend forward in an awkward attempt to support the weight, rather than on the shoulders with the support and aid of two straps.

A student’s backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A book bag that hangs too low down the back increases pressure on the shoulders making the child lean when walking into the bus or at school. Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into the child’s shoulders. The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack fits the child’s body. Loose straps can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and unnecessary pain.

If a child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, please contact Integrated Spine and Disc. Our licensed doctors of chiropractic know how to diagnose and treat children of any age. We use gentle type of treatment for youngsters that is very successful. In addition, our doctors can also prescribe exercises designed to help your child develop stronger muscles, along with proper instruction in nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.

Our Mandeville Chiropractors can help treat your child for their back pain and help them return to normalcy. Call today for an appointment.

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