Overland Park Chiropractor Explains How Heavy Backpacks Can Cause Long Term Back Problems for Children

With the rising cases of adult back pain worldwide it's no surprise that young children can experience back pain as well. Overloaded backpacks can cause back problems for children as young as elementary school age. Dr. Kivisto explains the problem and what parents can do to prevent it from happening.

Overland Park, KS, August 20, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Because back pain is a very common issue in our society, Overland Park Chiropractor, Dr. Blake Kivisto, stresses the importance of prevention at a young age. According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 80 percent of Americans will suffer lower back pain at some point in their lives. While that number is staggering, back pain can be treated and better yet prevented. Prevention needs to start at an early age - as early as elementary school.

Before you send your children off to school you may want to check their backpacks. Health experts say the wrong backpack can have serious damaging effects on your child's health. Dr. Kivisto, an Overland Park Chiropractor, states that when a backpack gets above a certain percentage of a child's weight, it increases pressure on the child's lower back, therefore increasing the curvature in the spine. Over time this can cause long term back problems for children.

The total weight of the backpack should be no more than 10-15% of your child's weight. For example, if your child weighs 80 pounds, the backpack should weigh no more than 8-12 pounds. If your teenager weighs 130 pounds, then the backpack can weigh 13-19 pounds when full. Anything over this 10-15% increment can cause damage to your child's spine.

Although weight is the main concern, it's not the only factor in backpack safety. The style and ergonomic features of a backpack are very important. Wide, padded shoulder straps can help to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack. The straps should be tightened so the backpack is close to the body. Heavy items should be placed closest to the body. Encourage your children to always use both straps while carrying a backpack.

Overland Park Chiropractor, Dr. Kivisto, stresses the importance of teaching your children to lift heavy items by bending the knees instead of hunching over. Encourage your children to exercise or engage in activities that stretch the back muscles. Exercise can have a positive impact on your child's core back muscles. Strengthening these muscles through exercise and stretching decreases the chances of back problems in the future. Parents should also encourage children to improve their posture. Standing and sitting up straight can also have a positive impact on your child's spine.

Thousands of children go to emergency rooms every year with complaints of back pain that is likely coming from carrying a heavy backpack in an improper fashion. Back pain from backpacks can be easily prevented but it all starts with the parents. By stressing the importance of proper carrying, your child can escape the pain and damage caused by heavy backpacks.

If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, Overland Park Chiropractor, Dr. Blake Kivisto can help. For more information on Dr. Kivisto's services and to learn more about preventing back pain please visit the links throughout this press release or http://www.KivistoChiropractic.com.

You can call now to schedule an appointment at 913-859-0282.

Kivisto Overland Park Chiropractic
Blake Kivisto