Back-To-School Backpack Check-Up

Back-To-School Backpack Check-Up
9 Tips to Consider Before Buying a New Backpack This Upcoming School Year

A trendy style backpack may be at the top of a students must-have list, but purchasers should look for other criteria as well. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, backpack-related injuries send an estimated 5,000 students per year to emergency rooms. More than 14,000 students are treated annually for injuries. And as any chiropractor will confirm, countless more suffer from unnecessary neck and back pain from heavy or improperly worn backpacks.
Backpacks are certainly practical, but lugging around heavy books, supplies, and other items day after day will cause discomfort and can lead to more serious problems. Here are some tips to help you choose the right backpack this year.
• The American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that a backpack should not weigh more than 10 percent of the student’s body weight. Only pack what is needed for the day and leave the rest at home or in the locker.
• If carrying multiple heavy books is unavoidable, the student can opt to carry the largest book or two in their hands to help redistribute weight.
• Minimize weight by choosing a backpack made of lightweight material – i.e. no heavy buckles or heavy denim material.
• Purchase a backpack with an internal frame/compartments to distribute the load evenly.
• Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more the student will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be.
• Shoulder straps should be padded and both straps should be worn snuggly on the shoulders. No gaps should be visible between the student’s back and backpack.
• Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly.
• Put heavier items towards the back of the backpack, closer to the body so that it does not pull the backpack away from the spine.
• The backpack should be positioned directly on the upper and mid-back- between the shoulders, and not resting over the lower back or hips. The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. 
• If pain persists even after the backpack is removed, call our office right away to schedule a check-up. Addressing problems early can minimize future trouble.

Healthy Lifestyles - Neck Pain and the Proper Pillow

Often patients ask what they can do to help themselves when they have neck pain. One of the most important things you can do is to provide proper support while you are sleeping. One pillow (not multiple) properly fitted is our suggestion. An orthopedic pillow is a great pick because it will support your head so that your back stays straight.

Spinal Manipulation Therapy More Effective in Treating Low Back Pain-

Did you that spinal manipulative therapy for chronic and acute lower back pain was shown to be more effective and provided more short term relief than many other types of care? According to an article in The Spine Journal, spinal manipulation is more effective than prescription drugs, physical therapy, and home exercise.

Mobility Before Stability....

A common misconception in the world of treating acute pain is that you must strengthen the tissue in order to feel better. Well, that may not be the case! Before you start to strengthen any tissue, you should ensure that there is adequate mobility of the skeletal system. Essentially, you must have mobility before stability.

In a 2009 article for the
Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy, authors explored the effects of thoracic spine manipulation in the treatment of shoulder pain. By simply providing manipulation to the thoracic spine, over half of the participants noted significant improvement in their complaints with only manipulation!1

The logic is relatively simple. If there is a failure to address mobility limitations, there will be an increased load or strain placed on already strained tissue (tendon, ligaments, etc.). The lack of mobility creates tissue dysfunction and abnormal movement of the joint creating an injury. By addressing mobility first through manipulation or specific corrective exercises, you restore proper movement that then allow for a more effective treatment onto the injured tissue.

So if you have pain that is not resolving, it may be necessary to change the approach and look at the larger picture. You may need to look outside of the area of pain and explore the your overall mobility.

1. Strunce JB, Walker MJ, Boyles RE, Young BA. The immediate effects of thoracic spine and rib manipulation on subjects with primary complaints of shoulder pain.
J Man Manip Ther.2009;17:230-236.

Pregnant? Have Back Pain?

50-80% of pregnant patients will have back pain. It is so common, that it is actually considered a “normal” part of pregnancy!1 While it may be common, fortunately you don’t have to go through your pregnancy suffering.

In a study from the
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers looked at standard OB care versus a multidimensional (multimodal) treatment approach performed by a chiropractic physician. The multidimensional treatment approach utilized myofascial release (massage), stretching, spinal manipulation and stability exercises. Both spinal manipulation and stability exercises were performed on an as needed basis. The standard OB approach used rest, heat, acetaminophen and possible referral to orthopedic surgeon for debilitating cases.

Results from this study were astounding! As you can imagine, the patients who received the multimodal treatment approach had drastic positive changes, pain dropping from a 6 to a 2 with minimal amount of visits needed. Those in the standard OB group had “no significant changes” in their pain.

So if you have back pain and are pregnant, you don’t have to wait. Call your local chiropractic orthopedist and schedule an appointment.

Peterson et al.: Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing
chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term
and 1 year follow-up. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2014 22:15.

2. George JW, Skaggs CD, Thompson PA, et al. A randomized controlled trial
comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back
and pelvic pain in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013;208:295.e1-7.