School bags and neck pain… Tips on what you can do about it!

So what can you do about it?

To some degree it’s about helping your kid get organised. What you want to do is lower that backpack weight to body weight index. This means is making sure they are only taking the books they need to, to school, leaving books in their lockers or classroom during the day and only carting the ones home they need for homework. Sure it’s easy just to jam all the books in at once, but with some careful planning you can start to chip away at some of the excess weight. How you carry your backpack and the type of backpack you use are all important too. Here’s a basic list of how to.

  • Backpacks should be ideally no heavier than 10% of a student’s weight when packed.
  • Make sure the backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized – no wider than the student’s chest
  • Choose a backpack with broad, padded shoulder straps
  • Use both shoulder straps – never sling the pack over one shoulder
  • The straps should be shortened until the bottom of the backpack is just above the child’s waist, and not sitting on their buttocks.
  • When the straps are shortened to this level, the backpack should lie flat on the child’s back.
  • Use waist straps.
  • Don’t overload the backpack – use school lockers and plan homework well in advance
  • Place all heavy items at the base of the pack, close to the spine, for a better distribution of the weight
Chiropractors have been helping manage and address the musculoskeletal discomfort that comes from carrying heavy backpacks in kids. Heavy backpacks combined with prolonged periods of sitting and the use of technical devices such and smart phones and tablets are all adding to the increasing load seen in our clinics today.  Studies such as this are providing the scientific evidence that these lifestyle factors are detrimental to our children and thus having a child checked for these behaviours and damage or injury prior to symptomology can be justified.  Chiropractors are well suited to perform these checks having an excellent understanding of posture and necessary function of the spine in-order to have greater health.

If you are not sure your child’s backpack is correct for them or if they are experiencing discomfort or pain, call reception on 09 623 1578 to book a FREE chat with our chiropractor.

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