Backpacks and Back Pain: Tips for Back to School Wellness

School is finally back in session. Not only does this mean another year of knowledge, it also means another year of students lugging around heavy backpacks day after day. Couple this with the stress of striving for success and you’ve got a recipe for chronic aches and back pains at a young age.

Carrying backpacks loaded with heavy textbooks, binders, and folders can inhibit the back’s natural development. Combined with posture challenges like sitting all day in class and hunching over a computer doing homework, your child might need some support—especially in these formative years. That’s where chiropractic comes in.

Chiropractic is a safe way for students of all ages to address some of the cumulative problems their posture might be subjected to each school day. It could be instrumental in combating back conditions that might otherwise follow your child through life.

The spinal experts at Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV understand the duress put on the spine by heavy backpacks and poor sitting posture. We’re here to offer up some tips to assist your child in maintaining correct posture throughout the school year.

1. Lift properly

Just like any other lifting, it’s important to be mindful of posture when picking up a backpack. Instead of reaching over and awkwardly curving the spine, use the legs to create leverage when lifting. Show your child how to put the pack behind themselves, put the arms through the straps, then use their legs to stand. Avoid slinging it quickly around the shoulders.

2. Use both straps

Many kids think it’s cool to use a single strap when carrying their backpack. Unfortunately, while this might look cool, it’s a quick way to create unnecessary stress on the shoulders, neck, and spine. Wearing both backpack straps means the weight is more evenly distributed and ensures that additional stress isn’t placed on the spine. It may not look the coolest, but it’s better than chronic pain!

3. Keep the backpack light

While it’s important to take necessary school items, make sure your child limits other items in the backpack. They may also be able to take textbooks to class on alternate days or leave them at school when they don’t have homework. The aim of the game is to lighten the load, to make it more manageable on the spine.

4. Tighten the straps

If the backpack is hanging low, the straps aren’t tight enough. Make sure straps are secure on the shoulders and fit with the spine to create proper support. Loose-hanging backpacks cause gravity to work against the spine, which means exerting more effort to keep the pack in place.

5. Limit time wearing the backpack

Let’s face it: kids don’t often think ahead. Instead of thinking about which book they need for their next class, their minds are elsewhere. For most kids, the simplest solution is to carry everything, all the time. As you can imagine, this is unhealthy for the spine and not good for posture. Instead, encourage your child to use their locker or cubbie, so they don’t have to carry that heavy backpack all day long.

If your student is experiencing back, neck, or shoulder pain, Advanced Spine and Posture’s staff is here to help. We’ve seen the damage that Las Vegas, NV students suffer when their backpacks are filled to the brim. Contact us today to learn more about how to limit the stress on your student’s spine. We can even teach you about the Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) program we use to correct existing spinal subluxations!

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.