Could heavy backpacks be causing back problems

Could the backpack your child takes to school cause long term back or spine problems? News 25’s Gina Tomlinson spoke with a local chiropractor who weighs in on the topic.
Millions of students are walking the halls, some of them without knowing they could be carrying with them an increasing problem right on their shoulders. Local experts tell News 25 more kids are experiencing back pain than ever before. Dr. Brandon Hardin says the backpacks kids are carrying are adding weight to the issue. “The load itself, you know, carrying 30-40 pounds, five days a week, improperly, takes a toll on the back for sure.”
Dr. Hardin is a chiropractic sports physician in Gulfport. He says the expanding amount of academic studies offered throughout schools is making backpacks heavier, causing wear and tear on the spine, especially when worn for long periods of time. “A lot of it is convenience. A lot of it is not enough time between the classes to get where they need to go so they carry it all day,” said Dr. Hardin.
Dr. Hardin tells News 25 back, shoulder, or neck pain are some of the short term problems a student can experience from an overloaded backpack. “Long term, you’re looking at curvature problems and problems with the exoskeleton so shoulders definitely and then the hips.”
So what can you do about it? Dr. Hardin suggests keeping backpacks to a ten pound maximum, at least most of the day. Also important is making sure backpacks are carried with both straps so that the weight is evenly distributed. “If you’re just carrying the load on one side, the other side has to compensate, not only are you compensating for the shoulder, you’re compensating at the hip, the core, the knees,” said Dr. Hardin.
Dr. Hardin says it’s best to wear backpacks right above the waist and also suggests investing in a quality backpack with thick padded straps to help ease the tension on the shoulders. “Just take charge of your health, be who you are, get to class and try not to carry so many books.”

Categories: Education, Health, Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *