From textbooks to lunch, backpacks hold most of the essential items that students need on a daily basis. But as research shows, putting too much weight in these bags can increase the risk for back pain and posture problems. Fortunately, Midwest Spine Center says there are many different ways kids can lighten their load—and protect their bodies. To help students go back to school without back problems, this Fort Dodge, IA, chiropractor offers a few tips for using book bags safely.
Avoid Backpack-Related Injuries With These 5 Tips
1. Use Straps That Offer Support
As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) observes, narrow straps can reduce circulation and increase pain while single-strap bags will put too much weight on one side of the body. To prevent issues, choose a product that offers two wide and padded straps. Waist straps may also improve pain management and prevention by increasing the bag's stability.
2. Lighten Up
Even if a backpack can hold a lot, you shouldn’t necessarily fill it to capacity. The American Chiropractic Association recommends that bags should not be more than 10% of a student’s body weight. To reduce the weight, kids should unload frequently at lockers and carry only the necessary books for the day.
3. Don’t Let the Bag Sag
When backpacks drop below the waist, they pull on the shoulder and place unnecessary stress on the spine, joints, and muscles. Encourage your kid to tighten the straps so the bag rests close to their body and sits at least two inches above the waist.
4. Use All Pockets
Students can prevent back pain and muscle stress by packing items into the various pockets that a bag offers—not just the main pouch. Chiropractors recommend using all of these compartments to ensure even weight distribution and improved stability.
5. Bend With Caution
While wearing a backpack, students should never bend forward or try to lift heavy objects. These movements can cause the bag to put a dangerous amount of weight on the spine and shoulders, increasing back and neck pain risk. If you need to lift something, bend with both knees.
When following these tips isn’t enough to prevent back pains, Midwest Spine Center is here to help the students of Webster County. Led by chiropractors Dr. Ben Rogers and Dr. Aaron Mobley, this fully equipped clinic can provide gentle chiropractic adjustments to correct alignment issues caused by heavy book bags. In addition to providing nonmedicated, holistic pain relief, these specialists can help clients correct their postures and strengthen muscles to prevent future back problems. For more information on how these chiropractors can help you or your child enter the school year in comfort, visit the clinic online. To schedule a convenient appointment, call a friendly staff member at (515) 576-1176.