Are you sending your child off on the first day of school with a brand new backpack slung over his or her shoulder?
Are you sending your child off on the first day of school with a brand new backpack slung over his or her shoulder? If you are like most parents, a new backpack was on your child’s school supply list. Although, these bags have become as common as pencils and chalkboards in schools across the country, backpacks if not worn or used properly can potentially have silent effects on your child’s growth and development of their spine.
How exactly does carrying a backpack affect the spine? Common sense tells us that a heavy load distributed improperly or unevenly, day after day will eventually cause stress to a growing spinal column. The old adage ‘as the twig is bent, so grows the tree’ come to mind. We are seeing a growing concern about the improper use of backpacks and the relatively scarce amount of education and preventive information available to young people.
Research stems from the increasing number of reports of childhood back pain in recent decades. By the end of their teen’s years, more than 50% of youth experience at least one low back pain episode (Spine 1998; 23:228-34). New research indicates that this increase may be due, in part, to the improper use of backpacks on young spines. Watch children in any schoolyard struggle to walk while bent sideways under the weight of an overloaded backpack on one shoulder, and you will realize the potential danger of this commonplace item.
That’s why Dr. Rook Torres checks children for conditions related to backpack stress and offers proper guidelines to avoid unnecessary injuries due to improper backpack use. We want your children to have a great school year and life. It begins with having a well-balanced nervous system, tools and resources.