We’ve had a lot of parents bring their children into the practices that are suffering from back and neck pain. The main causes of back and neck pain, are school backpacks, and the child’s posture when they are using their backpack.
Here are some things that will help to improve your child’s backpack posture.
Check To See Where The Backpack Is Sitting On Their Back
The first thing that you need to do is check to see where your child’s backpack is sitting on their back. It’s important to make sure that it isn’t sitting too low, you don’t want it to sit any lower than their hips. Ideally, it needs to sit in the low of the back, you can do this by adjusting the straps that are on your child’s backpack, making sure that each strap is the same length and that the weight has been distributed evenly on their shoulders.
Keeping the backpack close to your child’s body will prevent, neck and back pain, helping them to avoid an injury. By connecting all of the straps, a backpack with both a sternum strap (across the chest) and a waist strap, is an option that will provide your child with the most support when they are wearing their backpack. This is because when they are walking or moving, the backpack isn’t moving around from side to side, or forwards and backward. This also encourages them to stand up straight.
If your child’s backpack contains straps that condense the backpack (called compression straps that are usually located on the side or front of the backback), it’s a good idea to tighten them, this will pull the backpack and its weight closer into the body.
Take Care When Packing The Backpack
When you’re packing your child’s backpack, it’s best to place the heavier items close to your spine, not too far away from your child’s body. If you pack the items too far away from your child’s body, they will hang back, leaning off of their body. This places a lot of weight back onto the shoulders and the neck. It’s recommended that the weight of the backpack is kept to around 10% of the child’s body weight, we don’t want it to get too heavy.
If the backpack becomes too heavy, it doesn’t matter how much you adjust it, the heavy load will make your child lean backwards, putting pressure upon their spine. Making those adjustments will improve the way that the backpack sits on your child’s body, reducing the load and the pressure that has been placed on their spine. It will also help your child’s posture become a lot straighter when they are using their backpack.
We Can Assess Your Child & Their Backpack
If your child is struggling with back or neck pain, and you’re a bit concerned about their backpack posture, give your local practice a call and make an appointment with us. The best way to get your child properly assessed is to bring your child’s backpack into the practice with them, as well as the normal loads that they carry in their backpack. Get the Physio to assess their posture and their backpack, so that it’s perfectly fitted for your child. You can find your nearest Physio by pressing this link.