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Back to School Edition- Backpacks and Back Pain!

Avala Wellness is offering free backpack checks for all children!!

Back to School Edition- Backpacks and Back Pain!
It’s that time of year again, school is back in session and kids are back in action. This school year, help
your child avoid stress and strains on the low back caused by heavy school backpacks. Here are some
smart tips to keep a healthy spine.

Teach your child how to properly load and wear the backpack to avoid back pain:
• Always use both shoulder straps and wear the backpack on the back rather than over one shoulder
• Pack heaviest objects into the backpack first so they are carried lower and closest to the body
• Fill compartments so that the load is evenly distributed throughout the backpack and items do not shift
during movement
• Pack sharp or bulky objects in the backpack so they do not contact the back
• Adjust the straps to fit the backpack snugly to the child's body, holding the bottom of the backpack 2
inches above the waist and keeping the top just below the base of the skull; do not carry the
backpack low near the buttocks
• Lift the backpack by using the leg muscles and keeping it close to the body, not by bending over with
arms extended

Do not lean forward when walking; if this is necessary, there is too much weight in the backpack
Become a Proactive Parent on the Issue of Backpacks and Back Pain
• Ask your child if they feel any back aches or pain
• Help your child choose the smallest backpack that will meet his/her needs
• Talk to teachers about how to minimize the need for children to transport heavy books back and forth
daily in their backpacks; keep one set of books in the classroom for daily work while leaving
heavy books at home; make photocopies of homework chapters and assignments that are easily
carried

Attend PTA meetings and discuss any proposal by school administrators to remove lockers or to reduce
time between classes making it difficult to store unneeded books and materials
Finally, and most importantly, have your child visit his/her chiropractor before school is in session. Not
only will the chiropractor help assess postural strain caused by backpacks, the chiropractor will be able to
assess proper spinal alignment and improper posture. Remember, many spinal abnormalities are
diagnosed in children before the age of 18.

Article put together by: Dr. Pearl Mehra-Shah
Sourced by: https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/tips- prevent-back- pain-kids- backpacks

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