Recent Studies Show Backpacks Affect the Spine in Adolescents

DALLAS, TX, October 05, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — According to Spine Journal, over 60% of adolescents aged 6 to 19 have reported that their daily backpack use caused back pain. The majority of American children carry backpacks to school every day, making it imperative that students are taught how to carry their backpacks in the correct way to result in the 60% statistic dropping. The Spine Journal puts an emphasis on the 60% percent statistic, claiming that the frequency of carrying the backpack and its position on the body is directly related to the lower back pain. Now that the school year is in full swing and the homework is piling up, it is important to help young students adopt proper carry habits to keep their spine healthy and pain free.

A separate study from SPINE (Volume 35, pp 83-88) found that the weight of backpacks significantly affected the rate of back pain in children. According to the study, carrying a loaded backpack with books, folders, and other supplies frequently caused a compression of spinal discs in the lower spine. When additional weight was added to these backpacks, children had to continually adjust their posture to carry the weight as comfortably as they could. Unfortunately, these altered positions resulted in disc pressure, causing low back pain. SPINE’s study concluded that a large portion of low back pain sufferers presented changes in their lumbar spine by MRI scan. They were carrying anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of their bodyweight.

Texas Back Institute recommends that a child’s backpack should, at maximum, weigh no more than 10-15% of their body weight before risking back pain. Likewise, it is crucial the backpack has an even distribution of weight by utilizing both straps over their shoulders. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder will force the child to lean to the side for extended periods of time under the weight of the pack. This will cause the spine to curve and increase the force on the lumbar discs, creating low back pain and discomfort.

The position and condition of the backpack is just as important. For example, backpacks should be replaced when the thick padding of the straps has worn down. The bottom of the pack should rest comfortably in the lower back’s curve and never hang too far past the waist. Helping parents and their children become aware of these crucial details will assist children in alleviating their back pain and lower the chronic low back pain statistic in adults.

About Texas Back Institute: Texas Back Institute and its team of spine surgeons, specializing in conditions from Scoliosis to Degenerative Disc Disease and Myelopathy, use experience, talent, state-of-the-art equipment, and technology to provide superior and innovative care for patients who suffer from back and neck pain, which has kept patients flying out of town to receive care from Texas Back spine surgeon in Dallas.

From its beginning in 1977, the goal to perform as a center of excellence while integrating the best of science and education with the best business practices has served Texas Back Institute well and continues to be the backbone of TBI’s success. Over 40 years later, Texas Back Institute is one of the largest freestanding multidisciplinary academic spine centers in the world. Utilizing the latest technological advancements and medical breakthroughs, leading and participating in numerous FDA trials, developing surgeons through its fellowship program and employing an expert medical team and compassionate support staff, Texas Back Institute remains dedicated to helping patients get back to life.


Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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