In modern society many of us find ourselves carrying bags most of the time. Unfortunately our bags are getting heavier due to the fact that we are now carrying mobile phones, laptops, extra sets of keys etc. Women classically carry handbags that are exceptionally heavy due to the “I never know when I am going to need it” attitude. All women should assess the weight of their handbags and go through it regularly, removing unnecessary contents.
A lot of us carry brief cases to work. We should also look carefully at the weight of these bags. It is important to transfer the bag from one to the other on a regular basis. This gives and even weight distribution and reduces stress on the upper shoulder muscles and spine.
Enormous emphasis should be placed on how school children carry their bags. During childhood the spine goes through its developmental and formative stages. Unfortunately children’s bags are now becoming excessively heavy with books and sporting equipment. Parents should place great importance on encouraging their children to use backpacks for school. The backpack is far superior to the one sided bag or ruck sack because its weight is evenly distributed across the shoulders and down the strong back muscles.
School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages, so choose one that’s appropriate to the child’s size and age. Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. The shoulders and neck are rich in blood vessels and nerves that when constricted can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands.
Never allow a child to carry more than 15% of his or her body weight. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
Fortunately peer pressure is relenting somewhat and children are wearing backpacks more readily. However many of them wear backpacks incorrectly, just carrying them over one shoulder. If the backpack is to be used efficiently, and take stress off the spine, it must be carried on both shoulders, with the waist belt done up. This holds it securely to the back, preventing it from moving around, something which can cause damage to the back.
The correct carrying of bags is essential for spinal care. Your Osteopath will be only too happy too assist you in determining what type of backpack is correct for your child and how to correctly fit and wear it.