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Could backpacks be damaging your child's spine?

Could backpacks be damaging your child's spine?

Published at 10:27am 16th August 2019. (Updated at 10:29am 16th August 2019)

O'Connor Chiropractic Promoted by
O'Connor Chiropractic

With children gearing up for a return to school, one local chiropractor is offering advice to combat health issues caused by factors such as heavy backpacks and 'text neck.'

  • O'Connor Chiropractic have seen growing cases of neck/back pain, arthritic change and postural curves developing in children.
  • Heavy backpacks carried over one shoulder coupled with 'text neck' could be causing long-term damage.
  • The clinic are offering half price posture checks for children over the school summer holidays.

The chiropractor has been offering advice to parents having seen a growing number of issues in the postural development of children, with back aches, neck aches and even headaches a common side effect.

Development of the spine can be affected by bad daily habits such as heavy backpacks and 'text neck', which is arching your neck to look down at your phone, but also elsewhere in the body:

"The brain is the most important organ in the body, controlling all the other organs through the spinal chord, with the vertebrae acting as armour to protect that.

"The problem with backpacks and bad posture is that you're pulling that armour out of its natural alignment, putting pressure on those nerves, so it's not just aches and pains, it can also affect organ function."

Jason O'Connor

Man with backpack
Could carrying heavy backpacks be causing long-term damage to our kids' spines?

The spine is one of the last parts of the skeleton to fully mature, continuing to grow until around 18 years old in some cases.

Carrying heavy school bags, extended periods of sitting and poor posture due to time spent looking at phones can hugely impact the future health and development of the spine - even flat shoes can be a contributing factor:

"Children could be carrying backpacks over one shoulder, wearing flat shoes with their arches dropping in and combined with that they could then be texting on their phone, and it's an absolute disaster when it comes to the health of their spine.

"A lot of people think arthritis is something that only affects the elderly, but it's not. It's when you're having daily unhealthy habits affecting your spine that you develop arthritis."

Jason O'Connor

Jason has recommended that the weight of your child's backpack should be no heavier than 10% of that child's weight. 

Kids on phones
Children (and adults!) could be causing postural damage by constantly arching their necks to look down at their phones and tablets.

With clinics in both Harrogate and Ilkley, O'Connor are keen to offer help to children who may be developing postural problems due to both backpacks and technology.

To find out more about their half price offer or about the services they can provide, head to their website or give them a call on 01423 200 020.

Ben Groom from Stray Lifestyle went along to O'Connor Chiropractic in Harrogate to delve a bit deeper into the backpack issue:

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