Health tips for School Children with Backpacks

Its almost "Back to School" time!


With school starting soon, we would like to take the time acknowledge that backpack carrying can be a source of low back pain and strain for many youth. A recent study regarding backpack use among school children, demonstrated that backpack loads cause worsening postural changes with increased backpack weight and time spent carrying the backpack. The study emphasized that increasing backpack loads and time carrying the load significantly increases the child's risk for injury and pain. The study further cautioned that low back pain in youth is a strong predictor for pack pain as an adult.

Your doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic would like to take the time to offer some basic health tips for your kiddos that will be carrying backpacks to, from and around school.

- Carry the backpack with both straps on shoulders. We understand that everyone wants to be fashionable but balance is important.

- Get a backpack with wide, well padded straps. This disperses the load a bit and reduces potential pressure on the nerves and vasculature that supply the arms.

- No More than 15% of body weight. A recent study examined the effects of backpack weight on posture, heart rate, muscle tension through EMG evaluation, and ratings of perceived pain and exertion. The study found that when the weight of the backpack remained between 0-10% of body weight there were no significant differences in measures; however, significant differences were apparent between 10-15% of body weight. Based on the assessment parameters, for spine safety, any amount over 15% of body weight is not recommended. So weigh your kiddo and weight their backpack then do a bit of math. If math is not your strong suit, take your calculator out and multiply .15 times your kid's body weight. The answer is maximum backpack weight.

If you have any questions, if your child has back pain or develops back pain, make an appointment with your doctor at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic. 406-551-2177


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