One of the essential pieces of any back to school ensemble is, of course, the backpack. Although they’re practical, backpacks are a leading cause of back and shoulder pain for millions of children and adolescents. With books in tow, backpacks can weigh up top an alarming 30-40 pounds! This forces the head into a forward head posture to counter balance the weight resulting in abnormal stress on the joints, discs and nerves of the neck, shoulders and low back.
The American Chiropractic Association recommends that parents help children pack their backpacks properly, and they should make sure children never carry more than 10 percent of their body weight. According to a study by the School of Physical Therapy, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, children demonstrated immediate and stastically significant changes in the craniovertebral angle (CVA), indicating increased forward head positions upon carrying the backpacks containing 15 percent and 20 percent body weight. More than 50 percent of the children reported discomfort after walking, with the neck indicated as the primary location of reported pain.
Parents are encouraged to ask their children to report any pain or other problems resulting from carrying a backpack. If the pain is severe or persistent, take a moment and schedule a complimentary consultation with Chait Chiropractic Center (941) 371-1070. Dr. Chait suggests that you bring the backpack in with your child, for your consultation, in order to give you a complete assessment.