Back to School in Grand Rapids
It is that time of year again, back to school in Grand Rapids. That means the kids will be grabbing their backpacks and cramming them full of supplies. However, said backpack can become a source of pain. Most sources recommend that kids’ backpacks should only weigh 10% of their weight or less. Over that weight limit there is an increase in head and trunk flexion along with increased tightness in the muscles controlling those areas. One study found that carrying the backpack at the level of T12, the lowest thoracic vertebra that is found about the width of your hand below the bottom of the scapula, was the optimal level. Above that there was an increase in neck and shoulder pain levels. Below that there was an increase in low back pain.
How to Limit Back Pain in Grand Rapids
What else can you do to help your kids other than carrying the backpack at the correct level and optimal weight? Here are a few recommendations:
- Ensure the backpack is at the correct level. Do not let it hang lower than 4 inches below the waistline.
- Encourage your child to use both straps for the backpack.
- Look for wide padded straps.
- The straps should be adjustable so that the backpack can be worn at the correct level.
- Bigger is not always better. That allows the child to put more into the bag causing it to be heavier.
If your child is experiencing back pain, chiropractic can help. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate patients of all ages. They can also recommend stretches or exercises to help maintain proper posture.