September 6th. Most kids two days into the school year. Maybe you're back in school in college. What this means for both demographics is that you're probably going to strap on that backpack and have it overstuffed with day to day books and other essentials. Other than finding ways to decrease the amount of weight in your bag you should; a primary way to prevent pain in your back is to first make sure its fitted correctly.
Pack size and shape differs from person to person. But a good rule of thumb is to measure the distance between the shoulders and pelvis. The back pack should sit within this area and wide shoulder straps to spread out the support. A waist strap keeps the pack from sagging down the buttock. The folks at Corvallis Sports Spine and Physical Therapy in Oregon have done a nice post about these things. And they've attached these great pics below to illustrate the effects of good and bad backpack fitting for kids.
We have reached major technological advances in this world. Many kids and most colleges require the use of laptops or tablets for school. One would think with more items stored on PDF or online we would have less use for textbooks. Well think again! It actually cost a lot of money to convert books to digital format. Thus, kids have to carry their tech devices and the 10lb text
book. The second important backpack rule is to lighten the load by asking for a space to store a second set of text books in school. If you can't afford a second set, or the school has no space to store them, investing in scanning or copying pages you need for the day or week may be a helpful alternative. I have heard of some people removing the binding to text books and sorting the pages into a binder to allow for easy access to just a few chapters for day to day use.
If you have kids in school of if this is the picture of your daily use of backpacks you are all leaving yourself at risk for significant back pain. To learn more about the subject of back pain and back anatomy read more in our education section for back anatomy and common back pain causes.
Back pain can be debilitating and lead to an inability to concentrate due to the amount of pain you're in. I encourage adults and kids to speak up about their back pain and get professional help to reduce the pain and improve how you carry weight on your back daily. Its important to learn what causes back pain and how to prevent it with smart choices and quality movement pattern. If a child learns this early on they're less likely to move poorly as adults. As adults, we tend to think that as we get older its just not possible to change how we move. However; that couldn't be farther from the truth. If we bother to take the time and effort we can change our horrible habitual behaviors to positive habitual behaviors.
For a full back evaluation and planning to reduce or prevent back pain call us at 212-956-2900 or message us from our contact page.