Improper use of the backpack can result in permanent damage to posture and mobility.
In the fall 2012, over 49.8 million children and adolescents will attend public elementary and secondary schools; 21.6 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities. Needed supplies are carried through bags, backpacks and so on. Backpacks injuries have been a source of concern for many. Wounds to the head or face, hands, elbow, wrist, shoulder, foot, ankle and spine are common.
Statistics show that:
- The incidence of back pain in children and adolescents varies from 8% to 84.1%.
- Half of the students perceive their backpack as too heavy.
- 46% indicate that they carry the backpack 10 to 20 minutes to and from school.
In the U.S, back pain is the second leading symptomatic reason for consulting physicians.
Factors increasing back-pact back pain are weight, duration and posture. Consequently, multiple spine abnormalities have been documented at different ages. These include lordosis, kyphosis to scoliosis; sometimes affecting movement. All conditions can be painful and often require physical therapies.
33.5% of students reported suffering from spinal or vertebral pain attributed to backpack use.
- Back pain at a young age is an important factor in the risk of severe spinal problems later in life; starting at adulthood.
Different studies show that backpack loads of 10% of body weight will increase energy consumption, increase body-trunk forward lean. Improper backpack use can result in pain by distortion of the natural curves. Posture and body movements become awkward.
How to avoid pain?
- Carry the backpack strap to two shoulders instead of one.
- Decrease weight content.
- Two padded, wide and adjustable shoulder straps on the backpack
- Padded back.
- Wheels so that the backpack can be pulled rather than carried.
- Consider using a separate bag for the child’s laptop or other heavier electronic items.
Other reasons for pain.
Poor posture or back pain is often attributed to the common everyday use of backpacks. However there are many other reasons influencing back or shoulder pains. When this happens to young adults, then we must consider other factors. Obesity or being overweight will often contribute to back or other body pains. The body’s frame is out of balance.
- Obesity may cause some overweight people to lean backward to improve balance. This has a negative impact on posture.
- Lunches often consist of sweet, saturated fat, and additives.
- Nutritional deficiencies can easily occur adding to spine conditions.