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Warning for Backpack Wearers Young and Old(er)

Since low back pain is the single most common cause for disability in people aged 45 years and younger and causes lots of issues in socioeconomic ways (money and daily activity) (1), preventing low back pain must be high on the list of everyone in Chicago not just that of your Chicago chiropractor! Back pain and neck pain are two conditions Chiropractic Care treats commonly and helps often, and backpacks are one of the risks for Chicago low back pain that Chiropractic Care sees.

picture of a backpack and spine
 

So, the backpack: to use it or not. Yes, the backpack discussion circles around kids and their using them for school. The newest research reports declare that wearing a backpack heavier than 10% of one’s own body weight can cause deformation of the normal lumbar lordosis curve. This reaction to a heavy backpack by the spine also affects the way the sacrum sits, the total length of the spine, and the length and angle of the lumbar curve.  (2) These are not beneficial outcomes in the developing spine. The researchers go on to suggest that students be allowed to leave some books and such at school so that they don’t have to carry so much weight in their backpacks. Good advice for the kids! So how does child/teenage use of backpacks affect the future adult spine? Not positively, surely.

(A side note:  In adults who wear backpacks, backpack loads of just 10 kg decrease shoulder muscle oxygenation and skin microvascular flow. (3) Backpacks …)

It’s a lifelong job to be mindful of the jobs we ask our spines to do. Wear back packs. Rake leaves. Vacuum floors. Lift sandbags. Digs holes. Slouch in a chair. No one wants to become a statistic that is disability due to low back pain. So one approach to limit the risk when it comes to backpacks is to shift the weight load from shoulders to the hips via a backpack equipped with a hip strap whenever possible to reduce the risk of low back pain. (4) Chicago chiropractic care is here for you when  your back is hurting, and Chiropractic Care is here for you to brainstorm some alternatives to the backpack issue.

Contact Chiropractic Care to discuss proper uses of your spine and some tips on how to best protect your spine when it’s being used in challenging ways. Your Chicago chiropractic back pain specialist is here for you and your spine!

 
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