Backpack Tips for a Proper Fit

With the school year right around the corner, backpack season is here too.  Backpacks can cause a lot of pain, and even possible injuries to the spine, but they don’t have to.

Here are several helpful tips for kids (and adults) on how to properly wear a backpack and avoid back injuries.

  • Wear both straps: Use of only one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the pack. By wearing two shoulder straps, the weight of the bag is better distributed.
  • Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles: Pay close attention to the position of the backpack and how it rests on the back. It should rest evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and allow free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the lower back.
  • Lighten the load: Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the child’s bodyweight. Carry only those items required for the day. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back. Some students have two sets of books so as not to have to carry the heavy books to and from school.

How a Physical Therapist Can Help?

Our Physical Therapists are available to help you choose a proper backpack and fit it correctly to your child. Children come in all shapes and sizes, and some have physical limitations that require special adaptations. Call or schedule online for your FREE screening. We are here to help.

Additionally, our Therapists can correct posture problems,  muscle imbalances, and treat pain that can result from improper backpack use. We specialize in designing individualized fitness programs to help your child get strong, stay strong; and carry their loads!

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