There are two types of students in this world: those who love going back to school and those who dread it every step of the way. But both kinds of students are at risk of suffering from major back pain. While we can’t always hover over them to ensure they’re maintaining proper posture, there are some fundamental precautions you, as a parent, can take to ensure your child isn’t at risk for lower back, spine, or neck issues.
It All Starts with the Backpack
It may be cute to watch an eight-year-old walk into school sporting a school bag that is practically their size, but the fact remains that heavy backpacks are much to blame for child back problems. According to the Spine Health Institute, children should be carrying no more than 15% of their body weight on their back. If your star student is constantly coming home with heavy textbooks, binders, and a fat pencil case, it’s time to lighten the load. A good way to remove some weight is to invest in an e-reader so that your kid can transfer some of their textbooks into digital files.
Even if their school bag isn’t that heavy, it’s also important to make sure that they’re wearing it properly; that is, both straps over the shoulders, bag sitting as close to the spine as possible, and front strap (if there is one) buckled across their chest.
Even Sports Stars Are at Risk
The fact that kids can injure themselves while exercising represents a catch 22. Too little exercise and they run the risk of developing childhood obesity amongst a slew of other health problems. Too much exercise and they could risk overusing their muscles and injuring themselves. The key to childhood sports is diversity. We recommend non-specialized sports and exercise before they’re teenagers, so that muscle development can happen more evenly across your child’s body. Many childhood sports programs offer different sports every week, so if your kid has some energy to burn, why not find a Kelowna sports and exercise program for kids?
Children Aren’t Immune to Performance Anxiety
You’d think that only adults have to deal with the stress of the job and impressing their boss, but children are just as susceptible to performance anxiety. In fact, it may be worse, since they not only want to impress their parents (i.e. you) but also their teachers and their peers. The pressure to do well on assignments, get straight A’s, and colour inside the lines, so to speak, is coming from all sides. How can stress lead to back pain? It’s no secret that stress can slowly eat away at our health. If your child is constantly hunched over their desk with their nose in a textbook, it’s likely their neck and back muscles are under constant—you guessed it—stress. Encouraging your child to take frequent breaks and letting them run off steam with physical play can help them relax and recharge.
If you notice that your child is complaining about sore back muscles, and you’ve tried everything to minimize the strain, contact Symtrio Chiropractic. We may have the solution for their pain.