The beginning of the school year is a crazy time for most families. There are a million and one things to think about, organize, and prepare for. Something that often gets lost is the chaos though is the effect that the two ton backpacks and hours of sitting at a desk have on students. Here are four tips to help your student avoid back pain and excel.
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1. Backpacks Make a Difference!
We have all heard how damaging heavy backpacks can be on our children and students. Unfortunately though to the majority they are a necessity. So since we can’t ban backpacks here are a few things you should keep in mind when wearing them.
• Don’t overload; carry only what you need for each class and try storing the rest in a desk or locker.
• No one looks cool when they’re in pain, which is exactly what you will feel if you were your back pack low on your hips. Wear backpacks higher on your back and if there is a waist strap use it to help distribute the weight more evenly.
• Always use both shoulder straps. This keeps the backpack more stable on your back and won’t cause your shoulders to carry uneven weight or pressure.
2. Be Aware of Computer and Keyboard Placement!
Often times since we are sitting while at a deck or working on a computer we don’t realize how damaging the long hours can be on our bodies. The improper placement of computers can lead to both back and neck pain. To help avoid this simply follow the steps below.
• If possible adjust your chair so that your feet can be placed flat on the floor with your knees even to or below your hips.
• Place your keyboard directly in front of you so that it is close and centered to your body. Make sure the height placement of your keyboard allows for your shoulders to be relaxed and your wrists straight.
• Try to sit about arm’s length away from your computer monitor with it tiled so that your neck is in a centered and neutral position while viewing.
• Remember to take breaks often to avoid straining your body and your eyes.
There’s a reason why adults are always telling kids not to slouch and that’s because it’s horrible on your spine. Standing and sitting with good posture creates a strong stable spine, while slouching makes your muscles work harder to remain balanced and eventually leads to back pain.
• Proper Standing Posture: While standing keep your chest high with your shoulders back and relaxed. Keep your feet parallel and remember to place your weight on both feet evenly, not leaning to one side as many of us tend to do. However remember to keep your knees relaxed and avoid the tendency to lock them when your weight is balanced evenly.
• Proper Sitting Posture: Find a chair that allows both your feet to rest flat on the floor with your knees level to your hips. Keep your upper back and neck straight with your shoulders relaxed.
4. Know the Signs
It is important to watch for the signs of bad posture and Scoliosis in children because they may not always experience pain. As with anything you always want to intervene as soon as possible to help the situation. While bad posture may be corrected by simply teaching your child the proper ways to stand and sit, Scoliosis will need to be diagnosed and treated by a Chiropractor. Scoliosis is a deformity or curvature of the spine that is not caused or related to bad posture. Symptoms and signs of Scoliosis include:
• Difference in shoulder, shoulder blade, or hip height or position
• Head not resting center to the body
• Difference in arm length or position when standing straight.
• While bending forward the sides of the back appear to be different heights
Back pain and Scoliosis are both serious matters than can pull focus from your child’s academics. If your child is currently experiencing back pain or you would like to have them tested for Scoliosis please call our office at (615)503-9900 to set up an appointment.
photo by: MyTudut