As parents, one of the major problems you will notice is how heavy the kids’ backpacks are getting.
And with that, you will also see how this affects their posture.
Now, if you don’t know already, bad posture can lead to some very serious back and neck aches.
So, here we are going to talk about why this pain occurs, what are the steps you can take if you want to avoid the pain.
And lastly, we are going to recommend which weight would be the most appropriate for you to carry around.
Why Do Backpacks Cause Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain
The first thing we want to discuss is why do we end up getting these back, shoulder, and neck pain from carrying the heavy backpacks around. And for that, we need to get into science, so we have a very clear understanding of what actually happens to our body.
Backpacks are used by millions and millions of people every day. This is not just limited to school-going children. These are used by adults in different types of professions. The main reason why they are primarily used to transport things from one place to another is because of how much we are able to carry in them.
And it is significantly easier to carry more weight on our backs than it is on our hands. So, for convenience, we opt for these backpacks. Even though they make carrying things around much easier, the consequences at times can be very harmful to you now as well as in the long run.
What Happens to the Body When You Carry Heavy Bags
The main problem of carrying heavy bags on your back is the wearing and tearing that takes place in your muscles, joints, and ligaments. This does not only affect your back, rather your entire core and hips have to carry that weight. For some time, this is absolutely fine, your body will be able to sustain it without a problem.
But if we carry these backpacks for a long duration most days of the week, that is when this becomes a problem. The muscles that carry the weight are unable to sustain the strength required for them to hold the bags, and with time, they start to degenerate.
This degeneration is what leads to stiffness or soreness in certain areas of the back, you might, at times, even feel a loss of motion in your joints, and this ultimately leads to pain. With time small episodes of pain can lead to the development of chronic pain in your back. This will require some serious medication as well as professional help.
If the backpacks are too heavy, then you might have alteration in discs in your spine. Any shift in the spinal cord will have an impact on your posture, you might end up slouching all the time, which will further defoliate the condition you are going through.
How We Can Avoid the Pain
Now, there is really no way for us to give up on backpacks altogether as they are present to make our lives much easier. However, there are certain things you can do in order to avoid the pain or rather the development of the pain.
Take Useless Things out
The first thing you should do is eliminate the unnecessary heavy items from your backpack. There is no need for you to increase the weight of the bag by carrying things around that you do not need. So, be mindful of the thing you decide to put inside.
Use a Backpack with Hip/Waist Strap
We tend to get aches in your backs as our shoulder and back are the ones to carry all the weight of the bag, but if you are able to redistribute the weight by using a waist strap then, by all means, you should go for it. It will help keep your back straight.
Get Backpacks with Extra Padding
At times, we might feel the pain on our back because the straps dig into our shoulders. But if you get ones with proper padding, then you will not have much problem.
See if You Can Get Trolly Bags
Wouldn’t it be better if you are able to just pull the backpack rather than having to carry them on your back? Well, that can happen if you end up getting a bag with wheels. You will save your back from a lot of pain.
The straps on the backpack can be adjusted to your liking and comfort. So, if you think something doesn’t feel right then, you can always adjust the straps till you reach a position of comfort.
If none of these tips and tricks help you out, then you might have to buy a backpack for back and shoulder pain. You are sure to find them online or stores.
How Much Weight You Should Carry
There is a recommended weight you should carry on your back. If you are able to keep the weight in check, then you should not have much problem with your back as long as your posture is not faulty.
A backpack you use every day for work, school, or daily commute should not weight more than 20% of your body weight. So, if you weight 160 pounds, then you should carry a backpack less than 32 pounds. However, if you are going to take a backpack with you for a hike, then it should be less than 10%.
The weight you carry will impact much more if it sits on your shoulder for a long time, which is why you would want to pack lighter for a hike.
Back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain are becoming a very common occurrence in almost all households, and these backpacks are the main culprits. Hopefully, you will be more aware of how to carry and how much to carry.
Brian Millar is the owner and author of Backpackreviewed. Brian spent every possible minute outside. His passion for the outdoors led him to earn a degree in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2010. A guy who is trying to get away from his desk so that he can fish, hike, travel and just be in outdoors!!! Find him on Twitter here. Happy reading!