Be Wary of Heavy Backpacks, ‘Text Neck,” says Oakland/Alameda Chiropractor
As your children in Oakland and Alameda set off on a new school year, backpacks in tow and cell phones at the ready – are they also setting themselves up for a future of back and neck pain?
Studies conducted by researchers in Spain, France, Italy and the United States have concluded that children carry backpacks that are too heavy for them – sometimes up to 30 percent of their weight – increasing their risk of back pain. The French study further concluded that the longer a child wears a backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself.
A more recent U.S. study of 11 schoolchildren ages 8 to 11 examined the effects of various backpack loads – 10 percent of body weight vs. 15 percent and 20 percent – on the children’s posture. The study determined that backpack loads carried by schoolchildren should be limited to 10 percent of their body weight.
The problem is that heavy backpacks pull children backward. That means they have to bend forward – what chiropractors call “forward head posture” – or arch their backs to compensate. Both positions can lead to spinal misalignments. Some kids prefer to wear their backpacks on one shoulder, which leaves them leaning to one side to offset the extra weight, straining not only their back but also their shoulders and neck.
Cell phones compound the problem, causing children to spend long minutes – even hours – every day looking down at their phones as they text their friends. Dr. Dean Fishman has coined the term “text neck” to describe the malady. Like forward head posture, bending the neck downward puts pressure on your neck and spine, and may also pull your spine out of alignment.
What happens to kids with spinal misalignments? Such misalignments put pressure on pressure on the delicate nerves within the spinal cord. The result is nerve interference, which prevents vital nerve energy from reaching the limbs and organs. That, in turn, can lead to organ dysfunction and disease.
Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) is the answer. Doctors of chiropractic who are trained in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) can rehabilitate and realign the spine back to health for a permanent and long-term solution to back pain and illness.
Dr. Cynthia Boyd and her team at Symmetry Health Center are among a handful of Oakland, Alameda and East Bay chiropractors certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics, which is the most researched, published, scientific, and results-oriented corrective chiropractic technique.
If you live in Oakland, Alameda or the East Bay, take advantage of our no-charge consultation to determine whether your child is a candidate for care at one of our Symmetry Health Center locations in Oakland and Alameda.