August is Back to School Month: Backpacks and Back Pain in Children

As the school year fast approaches, it is time to start thinking about backpacks again! As your child’s backpacks quickly fills with books and journals, they can become quite heavy. If your child’s backpack weighs more than ten or fifteen percent of their body weight, it can lead to back and neck pain.

Preventing back injury in children is especially important because continual back pain can lead to curvature of their spine, muscle strain, injury or discomfort in the rib cage, along with tingling in the neck, arms, and hands. Childhood back pain can also cause back issues later in life. In order to prevent back and neck injuries from occurring in your own household, here are a few tips to keep in mind. When you send your child off to school, make sure that their backpack is packed efficiently. Place the heaviest items towards the back of the backpack, then place lighter items in front. This helps keep the backpack upright while the child is walking. Also, always ensure that the backpack straps are even, and that the backpack sits just above, or at, their waistline. If the backpack sits too low, your child may need a smaller backpack.

Moms and ladies, not only are you looking out for our children’s back health, but keep in mind the weight of your own purse. Heavy purses can cause a sideway curvature in the spine which can lead to various other back issues. Just as you watch out for the fit of your child’s backpack, make sure that your purse is sitting comfortably as well.

If you have found that your child, or yourself, is experiencing back pain due to a heavy backpack or purse, STARS therapists are trained and experienced in helping to reduce it. During the first appointment, the therapist will perform and evaluation in order to figure out which part of the back the pain is stemming from. After, the therapist will create a treatment plan to help your child, or you, heal and carry a backpack pain free! The treatment plan may include manual therapy to help relieve pain, exercises to help strengthen the back, along with exercises to increase flexibility in the back.

While back pain may seem like an issue reserved for older people, children are susceptible to it as well. The first step to preventing back pain in your child is to ensure that their backpack is not too heavy and that it fits correctly. However, if your child experiences any sort of back or neck pain or a tingling sensation in the neck, arms or hands, make an appointment with a STARS therapists, and ensure that both you and your child enjoys a fun and pain free school year!

To make an appointment, or if you have further questions, please contact us at (208) 367 -7827.