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I have had a number of people come into my practice this month who mentioned their children complaining of back pain. In three out of four of these children, I found spinal joint dysfunction and shoulder imbalance. Two of the children were also experiencing headaches (and one with tinnitus). These symptoms are signs of nerve system stress and should not be ignored. Small problems become big problems (adult-sized) when left to develop, much like cavities in your teeth would develop into progressive decay over time.
Here i discuss a common cause of spinal stress in children – backpacks….
The Backpack Check-up
Is your child’s backpack well designed and comfortable? Consider the following questions to see if your child’s backpack is packed light and worn right.
1. Is it positioned below your child’s shoulder and above their hipbone?
2. Is it made of lightweight material?
3. Does it have adjustable, padded shoulder straps that are at least two inches wide?
5. Does it have with a hip strap or waist belt, which helps redistribute the weight/contents?
6. Does it have several individual pockets instead of one large compartment?
7. When packed does it weigh less than 15 per cent of your child’s body weight (10 per cent
for elementary students)?
8. Are heavy, bulky items packed closest to the body?
9. Does your child carry their backpack over both shoulders?
10. Can your child stand upright comfortably while wearing the backpack?
If you answered no to three or more of the above questions, your child’s backpack could be improperly designed and over packed. This could place him/her at risk of causing stress and potential irritation and injury to their spine, joints and muscles.
In Stillorgan Chiropractic we take care of people of all ages. Our adjustments are taliored for each individual and the gentle corrections are well tolerated by old and young alike. In the lead up to World Spine Day on October 16th, I will be conducting free spinal exams for school childrenas part of the Straighten Up Ireland initiative.