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Every September (January if you are in the southern hemisphere) young children and teens return to school with clumsy, bulky backpacks strapped over their shoulders. Your children fill these backpacks so full (with all the books they need) that it causes tremendous physical strain on their shoulders and spinal columns.
Children and teens have a lot of books for school, and the older they get the heavier and thicker and more numerous these books become. The majority of this weight is carried by their spinal column and shoulders. This is compounded by all the sitting your children or teens have to do at school adn at home while they study. This creates chronic stress on the spinal column and shoulders causing changes to the health and function of your children. Justin the chiropractor at The Right Chiro says “As a practising chiropractor I thought it would be a good idea to make parents aware that the way their children pack and carry their backpacks can have a considerable effect on the health of their children now, but more importantly in the future.”
Your spinal column is the frame that supports your body, and obviously the same thing occurs with the spinal column of your children. Your spinal column has 2 important functions: movement and protecting your nervous system. Your nervous system is responsible for transmitting important messages to different parts of the body. When there is too much strain on your back, from say a backpack, deviations in your spinal column can occur. These deviations (called vertebral subluxations) are usually painless when they first occur. Why? Because your body has the ability to adapt and compensate. What does happen though is that these vertebral subluxations cause immediate interference in the nervous system function. The nerve dysfunction to organs and cells in your body will lead to systemic problems in your body’s function which if left unattended over time can lead to serious and sometimes even permanent damage.
In addition the chronic stress caused by an overly packed and not carried well backpack can damage soft tissue in the back, weakening the entire spinal column further. Once your children’s spinal column is affected, it is only a matter of time before additional health problems surface.
“I wish I knew sooner what a real impact a backpack or shoulder bag had when I was in school, especially when thinking back to what I used to put in my backpack and how I used to carry it”, says Annika the chiropractic adviseur at The Right Chiro. Like most children or teens she wore her backpack wrong and always too full, which led to even more back pain than she already had. Luckily her mom took her to see a chiropractor when she was still very young. Chiropractors are doctors who specialise in maintaining the stability of the spine. Proper alignment of the spine contributes to a more efficiently functioning nervous system, which in turn promotes better body physiology. On the other hand, inadequate spinal alignment can cause parts of the nervous system to become impaired; which can cause a multitude of physiological problems later in a person’s life.
We often see young adults coming into our practice who already have back pain, never had any accidents or serious falls and don’t understand why they have this pain. Now you can see and understand that the way you move through your school and studying years, the way you carry your backpack can have a profound effect later on in your life. “We always suggest to parents to have their children’s spinal columns checked regularly, especially while at school to support their growth and health. It is better for them to be checked regularly now than needing more costly work later” says Justin, the owner and chiropractor at The Right Chiro.
Our best advice for keeping your children happy & healthy is to have their spinal columns checked and if necessary corrected by a qualified chiropractor. A chiropractor can give great advice as well with regard to what kind of backpack to get, what weight to carry and how to carry a backpack. Book an appointment for your children with us today and we will make sure they have a good start to the new school year with a couple of tips for all those books they need to carry.
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