Don’t Let Back to School Be a Pain in the Back

It’s that time of year again. Whether you’re sending your first born off to kindergarten or your youngest to their senior year of high school, the new school year means early mornings, crazy schedules, and tons of homework. Well, maybe not tons, but it’s common for students to come home from school lugging a backpack bursting with books, tablets, folders and homework. While school work is an important part of the process, too much of it can be exhausting, both mentally and physically.

A heavy, poorly constructed backpack or the way it is carried can strain muscles and joints. The last thing you want is your little one suffering from back pain or your teenager getting hurt in sports due to tight, strained back muscles. As a parent, what can you do to help?

Invest In A Proper Backpack:

How will you decide what backpack is right for you or your child?  Choose a backpack crafted from lightweight materials, padded shoulder straps and a padded back, hip strap to redistribute weight, and plenty of individualized compartments.  If your child allows it, try a rolling backpack that takes the weight off the back and is easy to pull.

Wear The Backpack:

Even though your kid might think it looks ‘cooler,’ singing a backpack over one shoulder is never a good idea.  In order to properly distribute the weight, always use both shoulder straps, wear on the back, and adjust the straps to fit snugly against the body.  When loading a backpack, pack the heaviest items first so they are carried lower on the body.  Also, fill compartments so the load is evenly distributed.

Lighten The Load:  

To reduce and prevent the onset of back pain, the American Chiropractic Association recommends the weight carried in a backpack be less than 10% of body weight.  Only allow your child to carry necessary books and school supplies.  If their backpack is too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher about handing out lighter school materials and books.

At Benningfield & Associates, we offer a range of chiropractic services to reduce stress, increase function, decrease pain and improve your overall well-being. We have been proudly serving central Illinois for over 30 years. For more information, please visit our website or call (309) 692-6800.