Summer is ending and a new school year is about to begin. This means that most kids from kindergardeners to college seniors will once again be carrying backpacks almost every day. Even many adults use them, like when they are travelling on a train or bus to their places of work or elsewhere. While backpacks can be a very helpful and convenient way to carry all of the items you need, if not used properly they can also lead to back pain. If you or your children use backpacks regularly, use the following tips to help prevent back pain from happening:
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- Get A Backpack That Is Right For You - It should not be too big or awkward to carry, and if possible it should be made of lightweight material.
- Make Sure The Backpack Fits Properly - The pack should feel comfortable when you're wearing it. Also be sure that the shoulder straps are adjusted correctly; they should be fitted so that they are not too loose or tight. Speaking of shoulder straps:
- Always Use BOTH Shoulder Straps - If you only carry the backpack over one shoulder, you put a lot of excess weight on one side of your back, which will often lead to muscle strains. Carrying the pack on both shoulders distributes the weight evenly.
- Make Sure The Backpack Isn't Too Heavy - You should only carry as much weight as you are comfortable with. The backpack should weigh no more than 15% of your body weight, and possibly even less for smaller children.
- Pack Your Backpack Wisely - The heaviest items should be as close to the middle of the backpack as possible, so that when carrying the pack they are closest to the center of the back. And if you're carrying an extremely heavy or awkward item, like a laptop or other electical device, consider putting it in a separate bag if possible.
To learn more about these tips, watch this video from when Illinois Back Institute was discussing it on NBC:
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
All content is protected by the usual copyright laws and cannot be used, stolen or reproduced for any purpose without Illinois Back Institute permission. Please feel free to call about anything although we are unable to give advice on any specific injuries or conditions over the phone.