The world has seen a significant rise in people complaining of back pain over the past few years, especially kids heading back to school.
One of the most common concerns raised, particularly among kids, students and frequent travelers, is the connection between these accessories and the development of back problems over time. So, do backpacks cause back problems? Let’s take a look.
Do Heavy Backpacks Cause Back Pain?
Backpacks are an essential accessory for students and kids – and even adults. They provide a convenient way to carry books, laptops, water bottles, and other necessities.
But when loaded with heavy items or worn incorrectly, they can lead to severe discomfort and ongoing conditions. So, the question arises – must backpack back pain cause spinal issues, or is there a way to avoid it altogether?
Studies have shown that carrying a heavy backpack for a prolonged period can lead to back pain and musculoskeletal problems. The strain from the weight in the bag can cause the wearer to lean forward, leading to a hunched posture. This uneven weight distribution can result in muscle strain, postural misalignment, and general discomfort.
Children and teenagers are particularly at risk for heavy backpack back pain. Their bodies are still developing, and carrying a heavy load daily can lead to long-term back issues. According to health organisations, a child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10-20 % of their body weight.
But do backpacks cause back problems only due to weight? The answer is no. How you carry your bag also significantly impacts your risk of developing back pain.
For example, slung over one shoulder can cause an uneven weight distribution, leading to posture and muscle development imbalances, eventually resulting in back pain – as mentioned before.
How To Prevent Backpack Back Pain
The best way to prevent this discomfort is to ensure you or your child carries the bag correctly and does not overload it.
Here are a few tips:
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack only what’s necessary and distribute the weight evenly.
- Wear both shoulder straps to balance the weight.
- Adjust the backpack so that the bottom sits at you or your child’s waist.
If your child one is experiencing back pain, seeking professional advice is essential. Massage therapy from a chiropractor (like us), posture correction exercises, spinal adjustments and other pain relief treatments can help alleviate the discomfort.
All in all, while you carry the weight of your world in your backpack, remember to carry it right.
Need to secure an appointment with a chiropractor for back pain treatment? Contact The Backstory now or book online.
Scott Leabeater is The Backstory Chiropractic’s Principal Chiropractor. Scott uses up to date research literature to guide an evidence based approach to diagnosis and treatment. His unique professionalism and knowledge has made Scott highly sought after. Throughout his career he has treated everyone from local office workers to Olympic athletes. Scott is an AHPRA registered Chiropractor and member of Chiropractic Australia.