Kelly Chiropractic
        Johnsonville, Wellington

Click here to edit subtitle

"Mum, my school bag is hurting my back"...

Free school backpack checks for local community

A startling study published in the Journal of Orthopedics reports that almost as many teenagers are experiencing back pain as adults, and found that using backpacks is associated with back pain for children. These findings are from a survey of 1,540 children between the ages of 11 and 14 years. Results revealed that overall, 37% of the children reported back pain.

The research revealed that heavier backpacks, younger age, female gender and a positive scoliosis screening elevated the risk of back pain. In contrast, having school lockers available lowered the risk.

Dr Dave Kelly, Johnsonville Chiropractor, suggests that back packs themselves do not cause problems. Rather it is using the back pack incorrectly that causes stress on the spine. 

Backpacks, like shoes, need to be the right fit for the individual and should be chosen carefully.

Dr Kelly suggests you look for the following when choosing a backpack:

  1. Two shoulder straps - carrying a bag over one shoulder does not distribute weight evenly.
  2. Wide padded shoulder straps - so the straps don't dig into your body, cutting off circulation.
  3. Waist strap - to distribute the weight efficiently through to your pelvis.
  1. Padded back support - to avoid things poking into your back.
  2. Lightweight - the total load can be reduced by ensuring the bag itself is not too heavy.

Recent research suggests that parents need to ensure their children limit back pack weight to a maximum of 15% of their body weight. If the weight of the bag forces the child to lean forward it is too heavy. Pack only what is needed and use a school locker to store things.

Children and teenagers should be taught how to use their backpack correctly to prevent it causing them back pain. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Always use both shoulder straps and the waist strap.
  2. Pull straps tightly and ensure heavier items are central and close to your back.
  3. Pack lightly. The back pack should not weigh more than 15% of body weight.
  4. Use your desk and/or locker to store books etc rather than carrying them around all day.
  5. Always tell a parent if you have back pain or discomfort.

Johnsonville Chiropractor, Dr Dave Kelly, is offering free back pack checks for School children in and around Johnsonville. He is also offering a free postural and scoliosis check at the same time. Call us on 478-6194 to book in for a free backpack check for your child.