It used to be that when one would hear the words back pain, one would only think of adults. These days there is a new and disturbing trend of back pain in children and teens. In my own practice as a Laguna Hills Chiropractor, I have noticed an increase in children complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain to their parents. I always ask if they carry backpacks to school and the answer is usually “yes.”
This new trend is not surprising considering the amount of disproportionate weight they carry in their backpacks all day given the number of heavy books they carry. As a Laguna Hills Chiropractor, I found that this is especially a problem in urban areas and school districts where lockers have been eliminated forcing kids to carry large heavy books all day. The longer kids carry these heavy weighs around, the more chances they have to develop long term spinal curvature and postural issues. In fact, this problem has become so big that some states have passed legislation forcing school districts to find ways of reducing the heavy weighs of students’ backpacks.
Here are some things you can do to help your children with the heavy weighs they have to log around all day.
- Remember this rule of thumb: Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5-10% of their body weight. Heavier backpacks will cause them to bend forward leading to bad posture.
- Make sure their backpacks don’t hang any lower than 4” below their waistline. If it is hanging too low it causes them to lean forward when walking leading to bad posture again.
- Opt for smaller backpacks with more individual compartments to carry specific things in. Bigger backpacks tend to fit more and your child will be tempted to carry more.
- Make sure they are carrying their backpacks on both shoulders and avoid carrying it on just one shoulder at all costs!! I know they think it isn’t “cool.” Help them understand that is will be even less “cool” when they have pain.
- Make sure the backpack has well padded, wide and adjustable straps so the straps don’t dig into their shoulders and are fitted comfortably for them.
If you notice a postural change in your child’s spine and/or they are complaining of back pain consider a visit to the Laguna Hills Chiropractor. Chiropractors like the one in Lakeview Chiropractic and Wellness Center is always at your service especially when your child complains of back pain.
I’m Dr. Maryam Assadi, your Chiropractor in Mission Viejo and also your Chiropractor Lake Forest. I am a licensed trained expert at treating all sorts of spinal condition in patients of all ages using gentle, safe and effective treatment methods. It is always my goal to address the root cause of your pains that way you can live healthier lives.