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Kids Back Pain Caused by Backpacks

A disturbing new trend is emerging - young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), this can be attributed to the use of overweight backpacks. This trend isn’t surprising when considering the disproportionate amount of weight kids carry in their backpacks. An Italian study finds that the average child carries backpacks the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29- pound load for a 132-pound woman. Of children carrying heavy backpacks to school, 60 percent experienced back pain as a result. Other studies show that slinging a backpack over one shoulder may exacerbate the curvature of the spine in scoliosis patients.

Some helpful tips to avoid backpack-related back pain include:

  • The backpack should weigh no more than five to 10 percent of the child’s weight
  • Use a backpack with adjustable shoulder straps and be sure to wear both shoulder straps
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline
  • Backpacks with individualized compartments help position contents most effectively

For more information about the proper use of backpacks, ask your chiropractor for help.

Source: American Chiropractic Association