Many activities can lead to backpain and even alter posture in children, including sports, exercise, long periods while seated and long periods without exercise. However, the effects from backpacks seem to be the most notable because almost every child uses them on a daily basis and they often lug around everything they need with them instead of using lockers. Lockers are being used less and less by students and even not built at new schools and taken out of current schools during renovation.
Backpacks can put strain on a child’s muscles and joints and might even cause back pain if they are too heavy or worn incorrectly. It is recommended that children carry no more than 10% to 15% of their weight in their backpacks but it is common for children to carry much more than that. An article on backpack safety by Steven Dowshen, MD states that “When a heavy backpack is incorrectly placed on the shoulders, the weight’s force can pull a child backward. To compensate, the child might bend forward at the hips or arch the back. This can make the spine compress unnaturally, leading to shoulder, neck, and back pain.” When the spine is compressed, nerve interference is created which causes disfunction in our tissues throughout the body. This essentially means that our body is not able to function to the best of its ability, which is especially concerning for children because they are still developing and most likely lead to more serious problems down the line. This nerve interference is also the source of the pain. Chiropractic care is a great solution for this problem with backpacks because it can help to correct postural changes and can help to alleviate the pain by reducing the pressure on the nerves.