Back Pain is pervasive among American adults, but a new and disturbing trend is emerging. Young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).
This new back pain trend among youngsters isn’t surprising when you consider the disproportionate amounts of weight they carry in their backpacks, often slung over one shoulder. The problem has become so widespread that the California State Assembly recently passed legislation that would force school districts to develop ways of reducing the weight of students’ backpacks. Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey as well. The ACA suggests limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight and urging the use of ergonomically correct backpacks.
The American Chiropractic Association offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household:
- The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
- A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively.
- Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
- Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Wide, padded shoulder straps are very important.
- Shoulder straps should be adjustable.
- If the backpack is too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher about leaving the heaviest books at school and bringing home hand-out materials or workbooks.
If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call Cole Pain Therapy Group. Our doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture, and sleeping habits.