As a Certified Chiropractic Paediatric Practitioner, Arif, one of our experienced team of Southend chiropractors, regularly treats children and teenagers that are suffering from back conditions. While the causes of adult back pain significantly vary, back pain in children is often the result of heavy backpacks being worn incorrectly. And it’s ironic really; as backpacks worn the correct way are actually much safer than other types of bags.
Most backpacks include many compartments that help children carry their books and papers to school and back. Unlike shoulder bags, backpacks allow the strongest muscles in the body (the back and abdominal muscles) to support the weight that they’re carrying around. Children who wear their backpacks correctly allow the weight to be evenly distributed across their body; making neck and shoulder injuries far less likely.
But according to Arif, a leading chiropractor in Southend, children are risking strained muscles and joints if their backpacks are too heavy (more than 15% of their body weight) or they are carrying them in the wrong way.
So what is the wrong way to carry a back pack and is your child doing it?
If your child’s backpack is too heavy, the force of the weight will start to pull your child backwards. To compensate, your child is likely to bend forwards at the hips or arch their back. As a result, their spine will start to unnaturally compress, which can cause back, neck and shoulder pain.
If your child wears their backpack on one shoulder (which many children do), they may start to lean to one side to offset the additional weight. Again this can cause both upper and lower back pain as well as strain on the neck and shoulders.
Arif also warns that backpacks with tight, narrow straps may dig into the shoulders and have a negative impact on circulation and nerves. This can contribute to numbness, tingling and weakness in the hands and arms.
So the next time your child head off to school, make sure you’ve checked the following beforehand:
- Your child is wearing the backpack on both shoulders
- The straps are thick, soft and are not digging into the shoulder blades
- The backpack does not weight more than 15% of your child’s body weight.
Small changes can make a big difference to your child’s spinal health.
To book an appointment with our Arif or another member of our award winning team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor Southend on 01702 430430.