Backpacks

Backpack Misuse Leads to Chronic Back Pain, Doctors of Chiropractic Say

Back pain is pervasive among American adults, but a new and disturbing trend is emerging. Young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that backpack-related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room in 2001 alone.”In my own practice, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of young children who are complaining about back, neck and shoulder pain,” said Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the ACA’s Council on Occupational Health. “The first question I ask these patients is, ‘Do you carry a backpack to school?’ Almost always, the answer is ‘yes.'”

This new back pain trend among youngsters isn’t surprising when you consider the disproportionate amounts of weight they carry in their backpacks – often slung over just one shoulder. According to Dr. Bautch, a recent study conducted in Italy found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman. Of those children carrying heavy backpacks to school, 60 percent had experienced back pain as a result.

According to Dr. Bautch, preliminary results of studies being conducted in France show that the longer a child wears a backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself. “The question that needs to be addressed next is, ‘Does it ever return to normal?'” Dr. Bautch added.

The results of these types of studies are especially important as more and more school districts – many of them in urban areas – remove lockers from the premises, forcing students to carry their books with them all day long.



 
Dr. Richard R. Chaney, DC
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Dr. Richard R. Chaney, DC

Chief Physician at Chaney Chiropractic Center
I have been a chiropractor in the Flint, Mi. area for over 30 years. We have a low stress, cost effective practice. We endeavor to run on time and accommodate walk-ins and drop-ins. We use short-term treatment plans and our goal is to get you out of pain and back in the game of life FAST.
Dr. Richard R. Chaney, DC
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