Back Pain Caused By Backpacks

Back pain caused by backpacks in kids carrying backpacks that are overweight is a growing concern according to this article. Following some safety tips recommended by Orthopaedic Surgeons in this article, a child can stay away from back pain. Suggestions include not carrying more than 15% of their body weight by both the shoulder straps and a waist strap, removing unnecessary items, and keeping bigger items close to the back. Other advice includes bending at the knees to pick up the bag, keeping walkways clear of any backpack, and keep the books that are not required at home. Parents can help their child buy the right size of backpack and encourage them to tell them about any pain or numbness in the back.



Back Pain Caused By Backpacks


back pain relief for kids carrying schoolbags

back pain relief for kids carrying schoolbags

When children head back to school, they almost always load their books and other school supplies in back packs.


A properly sized backpack with the right weight can be a very good way to carry school necessities. Unfortunately, many kids overload their backpacks and suffer back pain as a result.


Health experts say a child should not carry more than 15 percent of his body weight in a backpack. That means if the child weights 80 pounds, the backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 12 pounds.


Backpack injuries


Most kids, however, load all their books into their backpacks and are carrying too much weight on their shoulders. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more than 13,700 kids, ages 5-18 years old, are treated in hospitals and doctors’ offices for injuries related to backpacks.



Safety tips

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends the following safety tips to help eliminate pain and discomfort due to backpacks:


– Always use both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack better distributed.

– Tighten the straps and use waist strap if the bag has one.
– Remove or organize items if too heavy and place biggest items closest to the back.
– Lift properly and bend at the knees to pick up a backpack.
– Carry only those items that are required for the day; leave books at home or school, if possible.
– Keep walkways clear of backpacks to avoid tripping over them.


Parents also can help with backpack-related pain:


Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about pain or discomfort that may be caused by a heavy backpack, like numbness or tingling in the arms or legs.

Purchase a backpack appropriate for the size of your child and look for any changes in your child’s posture when he or she wears the backpack.

Watch your child put on or take off the backpack to see if it is a struggle. Do not ignore red marks on the shoulders if your child or teenager expresses discomfort.

Talk to the school about lightening the load. Keep the load under 10-15 percent of the child’s body weight.

Be sure the school allows students to stop at their lockers throughout the day.


Read more of the article here



Following some safety tips, a child can prevent back pain caused by backpacks. If your child enjoys school, they are likely to carry many books compared to those children who are less able. However, overloading the backpack or carrying it incorrectly it due to its size can result back pain in kids. While children can often be a pain in the neck, parents should encourage their child to report any feeling of numbness or pain in the back, shoulders or neck while observing any changes in posture while wearing a backpack.



This video by WTHITV10 shows backpacks that may cause back problems. Occupational Therapist Ashim Bakshi explains how to carry a backpack properly.




A backpack that is too heavy can cause chronic back pain in children. CNN’s Carl Azuz reports.




This video is by Spinal Surgeon Dr. Chetan Patel. It outlines how carrying heavy loads could cause a change in alignment of the lumbar spine.


Find out more about preventing back pain by getting your free copy of 250 plus page softcover book The 7 Day Back Pain Cure – by the Healthy Back Institute. Click below to reserve your free copy now.



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