Back pain is pervasive throughout the adult population. It is one of the most common reasons to visit a doctor. Young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previously reported, and the use of overweight backpacks is a major contributing factor.
In addition to overloaded backpacks, improper wearing of them may predispose a child to various health problems. Back pain usually results from repetitive loading as well as improper mechanics, not to mention kids are getting weaker and less physically active, leading to the child's inability to handle the load of the backpack.
Does your child complain or exhibit the following signs and symptoms?
The major contributing factors associated with injury;
These factors may cause improper loading on the spine, which in turn can cause poor alignment of the vertebrae, which negatively impacts the function of the discs as shock absorbers. When the backpack is too heavy or positioned poorly, this causes muscles to work harder, leading to strain and fatigue that ultimately makes the back, neck and shoulders more susceptible to injury.
Recommendations to ensure proper and safe backpack use;
The truth is as kids get stronger and their muscles become more balanced, they will build up the tolerance to these and other daily stresses of life. It just takes a little bit of knowledge and coaching from Mom and Dad to encourage your child to become more active in a fun way.
I encourage you to keep in mind what I call "balanced muscle development." It is the key to any and all development. If you are not certain as to how a child can achieve a balanced body, please seek professional help from a certified health care provider.