School Backpacks Can Cause Back Pain

A Staple for School, Backpacks Are Stylish, Trendy and Perhaps the Start of a Cycle of Pain
Sept. 4, 2012 - PRLog -- REDLANDS, Calif.  – Backpacks tend to be at the top of the back to school shopping list. They can serve as fashionable or functional and come in a variety of styles. But according to doctors, backpacks could be a harbinger of future health concerns. Some kids wear their backpacks slung low, hanging off one shoulder or loaded with so many items that students are straining to keep them balanced on their shoulders and backs.
“The misuse of backpacks has kids sharing stories of aches and pains common to adult conversations: low back pain, pinched nerves on the shoulders and arms, pulled muscles, bursitis, and strains,” says Dr. John Steinmann, orthopedic surgeon at Redlands Community Hospital.
   While back pain is more common to older adults, future generations of students will most likely experience more back pain at a younger age because of the posture and contortions caused by improper wearing of backpacks.
   A pack should be large enough to accommodate students’ school supplies and books, convenient to load and unload, durable, and comfortable to wear.  Balance and convenience are critical when choosing and using a backpack.  Loading the heavier items high and close to the students’ back can help decrease the chances of pain.
   Dr. Steinmann’s best advice for students carrying backpacks is, “Do not overload your backpacks, make sure they fit your body type, and stand up straight with both shoulder straps to maintain proper balance.”

Redlands Community Hospital is a not for profit, stand-alone hospital.
Source:Redlands Community Hospital
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Location:Los Alamitos - California - United States
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