Backpack Safety for Back Pain

Back Pain in Students

With the beginning of the school year just around the corner, students are starting to hunt for the perfect back-to-school backpack. However, research is necessary to determine which backpack your child should use this school year. According to surgeons, between 75 and 85 percent of people will experience some sort of back pain in their life. While back pain is more common in older people, it can also greatly affect teens and students. At an early age, students are required to carry heavy textbooks, binders, and other school supplies in their backpacks, which makes carrying a backpack a significant contributor to back pain in students. Knowing tips about backpack safety can ensure your child doesn’t experience any unnecessary back pain this year.

According to a study published in a medical journal, carrying a heavy backpack can cause compression of discs in the lower back as well as cause deterioration in the lumbar region, which can result in excruciating back pain. Dr. Erica Goldman, a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation recommends that students’ backpacks should not exceed 10% of a person’s body weight. However, the study reveals that students are carrying backpacks that weigh 15% to 20% of their body weight. You can read more about Dr. Goldman’s comments here.

Physical Therapy Can Relieve Backpack Pain

Backpack Safety Tips for Kids of All Sizes:

• Use both shoulder straps

• Tighten the shoulder straps

• Rest the backpack in the middle of the back

• Pack heavy stuff in the bottom

• Carry only what’s necessary each day

Click here to read more back-protecting tips for kids.


A WebMD article states that among people who reported back pain,

  • 21% said their pain lasted more than six months
  • 16% said they had missed school, gym class, or after-school sports because of the pain
  • Almost 17% said they had seen a doctor for their pain

Physical Therapy Can Help With Backpack Safety.

While carrying a backpack is a significant contributor to pain in students, some students may still endure pain despite these helpful tips.

Action should be taken as soon as the pain begins. Although it may be tempting to let your child spend the entire day on the couch if they are experiencing back pain, physical therapy and exercise can sometimes be the most effective ways to relieve discomfort. Before starting physical therapy or any workout regimen, always have a professional’s approval. Having said that, physical therapy can be very helpful for relieving pain for people of any age.

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