Pack it Light, Wear it Right: Protecting the Back from Injury

As summer rounds into its final lap, parents, children, and university students alike must begin to bounce back into school mode. The transition from the care-free days of summer to school year stress can have kids feeling like the weight of the world is on their shoulders – and it quite literally is. Young children and teenagers are carrying increasingly heavier backpacks and, worse yet, they are carrying them incorrectly. Research continues to show that their young, vulnerable spines are paying the price.  

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a child’s backpack should be no more than 10-15% of his or her own body weight, with some studies urging for no more than 10%. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Adding insult to injury, most adolescents carry their backpacks in a biomechanically inappropriate way, causing damage to their musculoskeletal systems. Epidemiological studies show that over 50% of Canadian youth will suffer from at least one episode of back pain during their school years. The culprit? ...Read More