Back-To-School: Choosing A Pack That Won’t Break Your Back

With school starting up in less than a month, it’s time to think about back-to-school shopping. Backpacks are probably the most expensive items on the list, but one Sioux Falls Chiropractor says you typically get what you pay for. KDLT’s Jill Johnson has tips on how to find one that fits properly, and how to wear it correctly.

High School Sophomore Chase Brandner is like a lot of 16-year-olds. He worries less about comfort, and more about how it will go over with his peers.

Brandner said, “You really don’t want to stand out too much.”

But they should be worrying about it more.

“Although we have the Chromebook technology to give us our online books, the teachers still give us a hard copy on top of that in case the online isn’t working,” said Brandner.

Brandner says their backpacks are even heavier. And with just minutes to get from class to class, he says teens aren’t using their lockers.

Sioux Falls Chiropractic Dr. Christine Brandner said, “They carry everything in their backpack all day long.”

Dr. Brandner often treats young patients for pain caused by backpacks. She says the most common is in the lower back.

“If you have a heavy backpack, for instance, that’s where the pain is going to be distributed, but it also has to do with the shoulder straps, and if somebody comes in and they’re not properly wearing or fitted for a backpack, it can strain the upper back and cause neck pain, headaches.”

Dr. Brandner recommends getting a bag with two straps instead of one.

“You still have the weight bearing primarily on one side of the body and that’s going to create problems long term,” said Dr. Brandner.

Dr. Brandner says the shoulder straps and the back of the bag should be padded. Having a clasp in the front, and wearing the bag higher, also take the weight off your shoulders.

“If they hang really low, you can tell there’s more pull.”

She says kids shouldn’t be carrying anymore than 8 to 12 percent of their body weight. At 112 pounds, Chase estimates that his weighs around 25 pounds. That’s around 22 percent.

“I probably don’t carry around a healthy amount of weight in my backpack.”

Dr. Brandner says kids usually respond well to treatment if they don’t have a problem that has lingered for years. She says, typically, with just a few treatments, they can find some relief.

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