Backpacks have been linked to the development of back pain in schoolchildren

Back pain affects people of all ages. Back pain is very common among schoolchildren and adolescents and there is evidence that many schoolchildren carry heavy backpacks.

As a result, there has been much media speculation being made between the association of back pain and heavy backpacks, leading people to believe that children are at risk for developing torn muscles and ligaments, crushed discs, spinal misalignment, scoliosis, and lifelong pain and suffering.

These concerns have spawned a considerable amount of well-intended, but inaccurate, advice from medical experts further escalating the concern of both parents and schoolchildren.

Back Pain and Backpacks

Over-the-shoulder Backpacks for books, lunches and supplies can also injure a child's back and cause back pain.

Publish Date: 09/06/2011 1:00

The reality is, however, scientific medical studies have not found much of a relationship between backpacks and back pain at all.

Nevertheless, here are a few videos that attempt to provide backpack tips to prevent back pain.

Chetan K. Patel, MD: Do Backpacks Equal Back Pain?

Over the years, textbooks have gotten bigger and heavier, resulting in heavier and heavier backpacks. Parents have expressed concern that this trend might cause back problems in children.

Backpacks and Back Pain in Children

From the experts at CHOC Children’s, this video describes how to properly wear a back pack to limit back strain.

The Right Backpack Can Save Your Child’s Back – Alvarado Hospital

Are those backpacks your children lug around harmful or harmless? Find out what impact a backpack can have on your child’s back health. Alvarado Hospital’s Dr. Ramin Raiszadeh offers some good tips, as well as demonstrates the proper way a child should wear a back pack.

Advice to Parents About Backpacks And Back Pain

Given the lack of definitive evidence about backpacks and back pain, what might clinicians advise young patients and parents about this issue? Various professional societies have offered general rules as to how much weight children can safely carry in backpacks relative to their body weight. Above all, parents should use common sense in deciding what’s safe for your child

Backpacks were specifically designed to carry awkward and heavy loads. “Backpacks actually entered the arena as the ergonomic solution for kids carrying books,” says researcher Kim Burton, DO, PhD, of the University of Huddersfield in the UK. “Certainly, backpacks are a better solution than carrying several books tied together with a strap or carrying a bag slung from one shoulder.”

Do you have additional questions about backpack tips to prevent back pain? Post your question in the comments section below and we’ll answer your question promptly.

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