Now that school has started here in the Huntsville/Madison area, have you picked up your child’s backpack? Even though an iPad can store an entire library worth of books, most kids still trudge to and from school each day carrying an oversized and overweight backpack filled with heavy textbooks. While it may not seem like a big deal, recent studies have shown that carrying the weight of a typical backpack is one of the top reasons for kids to have back pain.
Why it Matters:
A vast majority of kids wear backpacks every day that weigh 15 lbs. or more. That’s a heavy backpack! Over time, the stress of the load can result in back pain, a rounding of the shoulders and postural changes. The spinal compression caused by heavy backpacks often has kids leaning forward to compensate, which begins a vicious cycle of postural issues, compensation and pain.
- Up to 30% of kids may suffer from back pain due to carrying a heavy backpack.
- Limiting the total weight of the backpack to less than 10% of your child’s body weight is recommended.
Check the weight of your child’s backpack. Then make sure your kids are wearing their backpacks using both shoulder straps, and that the shoulder straps are snug enough that the backpack isn’t carried below the waistline. If your child has pain, numbness, or tingling, give us a call. We would be happy to help get them back on track!
Backpack weight and back pain reduction: effect of an intervention in adolescents. Pediatric Research 2018