Backpack Safety: Preventing Back Issues and Injuries Caused by Backpacks

January 20, 2014

With two out of every five children reporting back pain due to heavy backpacks in a study conducted by the University of California, it is important to implement some tips on how to prevent back issues and injuries caused by heavy loads.


One of the most common causes of back pain while carrying a backpack is the tendency to over-arch the lower back. This can irritate the tissues and joints of the lower back caused not only by the weight of the backpack, but the entire upper body as well. Teaching your child proper posture while carrying their backpacks can help decrease instances of back pain.

A backpack should be chosen to fit the size of the child that will carry it, rather than to accommodate the load that will be carried. To make sure the backpack is balanced, there should be two straps that can be adjusted to fit snugly on your child’s shoulders. A waist strap can also be helpful to provide extra lumbar support.

If allowed by the school, consider a backpack that has wheels. This way, if the pack becomes too heavy for your child, he or she can wheel it around rather than having to carry it. It is important to note, however, that this type of backpack can be difficult to pull through snow or muddy conditions.

Finally, packing a backpack with the heaviest items towards the back and the lighter items towards the front will make the pack easier to carry. It is recommended that a child’s backpack should not exceed 20 percent of their body weight.

If your child suffers from back pain due to carrying a backpack, they could greatly benefit from chiropractic care. A doctor of chiropractic can adjust the spine, which will relieve pain and help strengthen your child’s core in a holistic and natural manner.

Chiropractic Lifecare of America believes everyone should have affordable access to excellent quality chiropractic care. For information on how we can help, please call 800.775.7900 to speak to a representative, or contact us today via our website.

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