Adjusting the Weight 2018-08-28T17:38:04+00:00

When was the last time you’ve carried a backpack? If you’re still in school, the answer may very well be “this week!” But if you’re out of school and have kids, you might not realize the weight on their shoulders…literally.

The amount of books in any given backpack can contribute to the weight on a child’s back. This problem can be magnified by children carrying their backpack with one strap on one shoulder instead of carrying it on both shoulders. This can increase risk of back injury since it is directing the weight to one side of the body instead of sharing the weight equally.

“It typically puts them off balance and gives them a posture that promotes lower back pain,” said Dr. Borja.  “A lot of kids don’t suffer immediately, but over the long run it may cause damage.”

In this case, prevention is the best option for taking care of your children!

Tips on wearing a backpack properly:

Make sure to distribute the weight evenly:  Put the heavier items on the bottom to keep the weight on your shoulders and maintain better posture. Load the textbooks first and then add the rest.

Wear both shoulder straps: Carrying a heavy backpack using one strap can shift the weight to one side. This can lead to neck pain, muscle spasms, low back pain, and walking improperly. No matter if it’s a quick walk to class or not, both straps need to be on the shoulders to maintain better weight distribution.

Choose backpacks with heavily padded shoulder straps and lumber support: Non-padded straps dig into the shoulders causing pain due to compressional loading of the acromio-clavicular (A-C) joints and stress on the trapezius muscles. The lumbar cushion will redistribute the weight to the lower extremities, creating a support that facilitates an upright standing position.

Pick it up properly: Bend your knees when picking up a heavy backpack. Picking up a heavy backpack by tugging it up from a standing position can cause unnecessary strain on your lower back.

Carry only what is needed: Don’t forget that every item you carry is extra weight on your spine! Give your back a break, and carry only what is essential.

Technology can help: In our world of ever-changing technology, children may decide that taking their tablet, laptop, or iPad to class while keeping unnecessary textbooks at home or in their locker may make their backpack lighter, too!

By practicing proper backpack carrying and safety, you can help your spine to keep its proper shape and curvature!










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