3 Ways Your Child Can Avoid Backpack Pain this School Year

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3 Ways Your Child Can Avoid Backpack Pain this School Year

Classes are well underway, and your children may already be complaining about teachers, homework and getting up earlier. One gripe you shouldn’t brush aside is if they start talking about an aching back. Two-thirds of Americans experience back pain at some point it their lives, and for many, this begins when they’re students and carrying overfull backpacks.

Today, Core Physical Therapy is going to talk about how your student can “pack it light, wear it right” when it comes to backpack safety:

  1. Decide the necessaries

 

A heavy backpack can not only create an increase in back pain, it can also put your child at a risk for a fall. A good practice is to make sure that your child’s backpack is not more than 10 percent of their body weight. Discuss with your child what is absolutely necessary for them to bring to class on a given day, and leave behind anything extraneous.

 

  1. Make sure they’re wearing it correctly.

 

Many students tend to throw their backpack over one shoulder, and this can lead to an increase in back pain and injury. Make sure they’re wearing both straps, and that these straps come with padded shoulders. Most backpacks come with hip or sternum belts, which can reduce strain on the upper back and shoulders and improve balance. The top of the backpack should start two inches below the top of the shoulders and the bottom should end just above their waist. If it goes beyond that, it may be too big, and lead to temptation to carry too many things!

 

  1. Perform posture exercises.

 

When it comes to backpacks, your students’ posture can play a huge role in their comfort. They can try some exercises at home to improve their posture, such as the shoulder blade squeeze. This involves squeezing the shoulder blades together, which pulls back the shoulders and opens up the chest. Doing this 30 times once or twice a day should improve the muscles that carry most of the backpack burden, making it easier for them to carry the load.

 

Following these steps will hopefully lead to a less stressful school year for both you and your child. If they continue to have complaints about back pain, make an appointment at Core Physical Therapy today! In the state of Iowa, you’re not required to receive a doctor’s recommendation before you see a physical therapist, so you can make an appointment directly with us.

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