Treating children is a significant part of my family chiropractic clinic. Of the many children I see one thing that concerns me both as a chiropractor and a parent is the stress placed upon the developing spine of school age children.
Unfortunately backpacks are no longer a fashionable accessory so children are often carrying heavy weights (books, lunches) on one shoulder. Invariably it becomes the same shoulder every time. In time this may lead to neck and shoulder problems which in turn may then create headaches and low back pain. I have seen this many times. Left unchecked spinal problems can have an adverse impact on the rest of your child’s life.
I too have struggled as a parent to get my children to use a backpack however, the more children use them the less difficult it will be for all of us. The United Chiropractic Association has produced a list of tips to prevent potential back problems for school children.
- Always wear backpacks on both shoulders
- Choose a backpack with thick shoulder straps
- Choose a lightweight backpack with multiple compartments for better weight distribution
- Adjust straps so the backpack sits above the waist to reduce pressure on the lower spine
- Waist straps are a good idea
- Encourage children to only bring home those books needed for homework that evening
Parents can also look out for tell-tale signs that their child is struggling under the weight of their bags. Warning signs include a change in posture, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands or back, neck or shoulder pain, even headaches.
If you do notice any of these symptoms or if your child complains of any of these conditions then a chiropractic spinal check at the Harmony Centre is a good idea. There is no charge for this service.