Is Your Child’s Backpack Causing Problems?

Do you know what your child’s backpack is doing to their spine? Recently we have seen more children dealing with neck pain & possible scoliosis-related issues. One of the first questions to ask is, “How much does your child’s backpack weigh?”

An improper backpack weight and placement can cause major problems such as scoliosis, headaches, backaches, lower back pain, knee pain or hip pain. Here are the facts: 

  • The average sixth grader weight around 90 to 110 pounds. A backpack should not weigh more than 10% of your child’s weight.

Scoliosis can go undetected for years & can cause permanent spinal damage. School systems check children for scoliosis but they have a lot of children & check them quickly. This leads to things being missed, causing children to grow up with an incorrect side curve in their spine that leads to pain & degeneration.

Scoliosis can develop from repetitive stress on one side of the body, an injury from a fall, a sports injury that doesn’t heal correctly or misshaped vertebrae.

We check adults & children by looking at the spine in different ways. If something looks odd, we order X-rays to find out the degree of curvature. Generally speaking, 7 degrees or less is mild, 8 to 14 degrees is moderate, & 15 degrees or above is severe.

The conventional medical treatment for scoliosis is waiting it out, bracing, therapy or surgery to place rods & screws in the spine. If we discover scoliosis, our practice generates an outcome-based treatment plan. Most of the time, we are able to avoid any invasive actions. 

So what can you do to prevent scoliosis?

  1. Make sure the weight of your child’s backpack is within a normal range.

The earlier in life scoliosis is discovered, the more likely it can be reversed. Females less than 14 years old & males less than 18 years old should be checked annually.