Backpack Use and Back Pain


Back pain is pervasive among American adults and 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. 60 percent of children carrying heavy backpacks to school report back pain.

What Can You Do:

  • Make sure your backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of your weight. A heavier backpack will cause you to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing you to lean forward when walking.
  • Wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  • The use of rollerpacks – or backpacks on wheels – have become popular in recent years and for good reason. Rollerpacks are a safe, effective alternative to carrying a backpack and placing unnecessary stress on your spine.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…
If you experience any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call Dr. Gabe Nadel at Everest Chiropractic! He will work to restore your back to a healthy state and prevent further complications.