School is starting back and backpacks are EVERYWHERE.
Every back to school isle at the store is packed with students picking out the coolest notebooks and pencils to carry around.
And soon teachers will be handing out the not so cool textbooks that will be taking up the most space in your child's backpack.
And while the convenience of a backpack can't be beat, if it's being carried the wrong way, the spine can really suffer.
Here Are 3 Things to Avoid When It Comes to Carrying a Backpack!
1. Muscle Strain
When a backpack is too heavy, the problems start early – even in how we pick it up.
Normally, we just grab a strap and throw it over our shoulder.
But like with any heavy weight, we really should be bending at the knees to lift a backpack to avoid causing excess strain to our muscles.
2. Bad Posture
Once a heavy load is on our backs, our bodies will try to compensate by leaning forward to get the weight off our lower backs.
Over time, this will cause the shoulders to become rounded and the upper back to curve unnaturally.
Inevitably, bad posture will lead to neck, shoulder and back pain, as well as spinal joint fixation (also known as subluxations) due to the stress and strain being placed on the spine.
3. Leaning to One Side
Something that has become increasingly popular, especially with young adults are messenger bags, resting only on one shoulder.
And even among middle and high school age students, it is common to carry backpacks primarily on one shoulder.
I really want to emphasize is the importance of carrying weight EVENLY.
If you are wearing your backpack over to one side or carrying a messenger bag that rests on just one shoulder, your body will lean excessively to the opposite side to compensate.
Over time, this can cause your spine to take an unnatural curve towards one side which can result in a myriad of health issues depending on which nerves roots are affected.
(To learn more about the effect your spine's health can have on your whole body, click here.)
Now that we've discussed some of the top things to avoid when carrying a backpack and the consequential health issues, you're probably wondering...
So, what is the right way to wear a backpack?
Here are the top 3 things I recommend to my patients:
1. Bend at the Knees
As stated earlier, you can easily avoid excess muscle strain and spasms by taking precaution when lifting your backpack.
Do not attempt to lift anything weighing more than a few pounds with just one arm. Bend at the knees and pick up the heavy object with both hands, keeping it as close to your body as possible.
If you are able, even setting the backpack on a chair, and then sitting to slide your arms into the straps before standing up is the best way to avoid any excess strain.
2. Don't Overload your Backpack
As a rule of thumb, your backpack should never weigh more than 15% of your body weight.
So, a child weighing 100 pounds shouldn't be carrying a backpack weighing more than 15 pounds.
3. Carry Weight Evenly
If you have too many books to carry home, don't try shoving them all in your backpack. Put some in your backpack and hold the rest. It's all about even weight distribution!
Be sure to use BOTH straps, the wider the better!
Carrying a backpack is an everyday occurrence for most kids, and if they are carrying it incorrectly, it can easily lead to pain later.
So what advice is there for those of us who have carried weight incorrectly for years?
Is it possible to correct damage already done?
Chiropractic care is a holistic and effective way to correct misalignments in the spine!
A chiropractor is a highly trained doctor who analyzes the structure and alignment of your spine, as well as the nervous system.
They are trained to work with you to improve your spines natural curvature through spinal adjustments, physiotherapy, spinal orthotics and other modalities.
As a result, chiropractic adjustments can also improve other health conditions such as acid reflux, ear infections, asthma, seasonal allergies, etc. all by improving your bodies ability to heal and integrate stress.
If you're ready to treat the causes rather than the just the symptoms of your pain and start feeling better, give us a call and schedule your appointment today!
Give us a call at (423)-498-3400 today to see how chiropractic care can help you too!
Or click below to schedule your first appointment!
Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.