Back to school, for most kids, means carrying items in a backpack. Backpacks are the standard, and make it easy to cart around all your supplies for the day, but it is important to use a backpack correctly and safely to avoid injury to the neck and back. Professionals who can provide physical therapy in Rosedale MD can help your child stay safe while carrying a backpack all day.
Proper Way to Use a Backpack
To begin with, make sure the heaviest items are in the area of the backpack near the straps. This will help keep the backpack firmly against the back and not flopping forward away from the body. Additionally, the backpack should fit comfortably below the shoulders and should never drop more than four inches below the waist. If it comes equipped with a waist belt, use it for more support.
Pick a backpack that has padding on the shoulder straps to make them more comfortable and aid in weight distribution. Also: use both straps. When you use just one strap, it puts pressure on that side of the body causing you to lean either left or right. Over time this leads to injuries that could have been avoided.
Never overload your backpack! Make sure it is the proper size for your child’s body. Backpacks for high schoolers are obviously bigger than backpacks for kindergartens, but they should still be sized correctly. If your school will allow a wheeled backpack, use it to keep the strain off kids’ shoulders. Encourage them, too, to take breaks from carrying your backpack when they can. Keep extra supplies in a cubby or locker instead of carrying them around all the time.
Risks of Not Using a Backpack Properly
When you don’t safely use a backpack, you are placing strain on your neck and back which can weaken muscles over time. This can lead to spinal misalignment, poor posture and muscle damage. Carrying a lot of weight in your backpack can lead to stress injuries, and improperly carrying your backpack and damage your neck, back and shoulders.
Get Physical Therapy in Rosedale MD
Backpacks don’t have to be detrimental to the body. When used properly, they are a convenient way to get through the school day with the items you need. If you are in the area and want to speak to a physical therapist in Rosedale MD about proper backpack use, contact Dr. Neil Cohen at Comprehensive Spine and Sports Center here. Dr. Cohen has over 35 years of experience including over 25 years in Essex. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with back and neck issues.