The new school year means carting around heavy backpacks. Dr Cassie, our Chiropractor, discusses the health concerns around poorly fitted, heavy bags. She will be performing free backpack and postural assessments for kids returning to school throughout January.
Whilst kinder and prep students look very cute with their oversized, “they’ll-grow-into-them” backpacks, this is incorrectly overloading their delicate and developing spines. This is of course not limited to new school goers but spans the spectrum to university students and workers carrying heavy loads in awkward positions.
Uncorrected postural issues, heavy school bags and poor lifestyle choices can all lead to spinal health problems as a child grows. Childhood spinal health problems often go unnoticed. What starts as poor posture, back pain and “growing pains” can develop into an accepted part of everyday life. This can lead to serious musculoskeletal concerns immediately or later in life such as reduced mobility, possible early degeneration of the bones and joints and increased vulnerability to injuries.
Children’s spines are still developing and placing unnaturally heavy loads can initiate issues with the spine, muscles and nerves.
Students may experience:
- Muscle strain
- Back pain
- Pins and needles in the arms or legs
- Distortion of natural spinal curves
- Rounded shoulders and poor posture
Back pain in children and adolescents is a strong indicator of adult back pain, particularly persistent back pain in adults. The risk increases with longer durations of back pain in growing spines.
Your child’s backpack quickly adds up in weight. It is important to ensure that the weight of the backpack is appropriate for your child and their current level of development. We will be performing Chiropractic postural assessments as well as assessing the use and weight of your child’s backpack. This free service is aimed at reducing future musculoskeletal concerns.
According to the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA), 90% of school children have poor posture when carrying their bags and could experience unwanted spinal stress and damage as a result. Additionally, 75% are not wearing their school backpacks properly which may be exacerbating the problem.
Now imagine this extra load 5 days a week for 13+ years!
Chiropractic care has been proven to be effective and can restore correct function and relieve pain symptoms associated with the carrying of heavy backpacks. Chiropractic assessments and treatments are specific to the age and development of the patient. Treatment approaches may include non-manipulative mobilisations, adjustments, massage, home exercises and lifestyle advice.
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