Does your school bag need a ‘wide load’ sign? With school backpacks having to carry not only children’s lunches, but laptops, textbooks and various other study materials, it’s no wonder many kids think school is a pain in the back.

While it may be easy to dismiss children’s complaints of heavy bags, Australian children are at risk of permanent spinal damage because of incorrectly packed and fitted backpacks.

In an international study, school backpacks were felt to be heavy by more than 79% of children, to cause fatigue by almost 66%, and to cause back pain by more than 46%.

Here’s some top tips for preventing back pain associated with heavy backpacks.

  1. Never carry more than 10% of your body weight
  2. Wear your bag over both shoulders
  3. Pack heaviest items closest to your back
  4. Pack only what you need

What do doctors check for in children with back pain?

If your child has back pain, the doctor will perform a thorough evaluation. They will inquire about the child’s overall health, in addition to the back pain. They will want to know when the pain started, if it began with an injury or activity, and if it has gotten worse or become better. They might probe areas where the pain is located, and if there are any other symptoms such as fever, pain going down the leg, etc.

Chiropractors are uniquely positioned to educate parents, teachers and students about spinal health care. Chiropractic care has also been proven to be effective in relieving pain associated with carrying heavy backpacks.

(Source: Central Queensland University)