Backpacks have always been an essential part of a student’s life, and with time it has also become the fashion and style symbol among teenagers and children. It was a time when backpacks were only seen in educational institutions, but with time and increased use, backpacks have become a lifestyle.
You can see teenagers, children, or young adults roaming around on the streets and buying backpacks for use other than carrying books. With increased popularity, backpacks are also being blamed for causing back pain. Yes, many doctors and health care professionals declared them the reason but are backpacks bad for your back? I don’t think so.
There may be some odds but backpacks are much safer than many kinds of bags available in the market. Backpacks are one of the various available types of bags used. The backpacks are safer and better than bags like shoulder bags, sideways bags, and handbags because backpacks can help distribute the load and weight equally.
In my view, it’s the heavyweight on the backpack and the wrong way of use that must be blamed, not alone backpacks for back pain and back sores. Before jumping to a conclusion, let’s talk about real facts and research stats and find out are backpacks bad for your back for real or if this is just another myth we live in. (Neel Anand, 2018)
How do backpacks contribute to back pain?
It is important to learn about the root of back pain before declaring backpacks for back pain. The human body is sensitive and every part of our body deserves to get treated well. When you choose a backpack, always remember to choose wisely. The wrong use can lead to the worst results. Storing a heavyweight in your backpack and carrying it the wrong way can lead to pain in every joint and ligament of your shoulder and back.
In the debate of why are backpacks bad for your back, we often target the wrong reasons while the reasons that need to get highlighted are not solely the BACKPACKS. The correct use of a backpack is very important also it is important to choose the right backpack according to your necessities. Humans have vertebrae in the back that can absorb pressure and shock but of the right amount.
The excess load and weight on your back, make your body lean forward, and that in the long run can change the shape of your shoulder. This can also lead to curving your back and result in high-intensity pain and stiffness on the shoulders and neck. (Neel Anand, 2018)
Many people are seen carrying backpacks on one shoulder. Well, this is not the right way of carrying it at all. The core reason behind making a backpack is to equally distribute the weight and load on both shoulders. Holding backpacks on one shoulder can transfer all the weight to one side. This overweight and imbalance between two shoulders can lead to back and neck pain and swollen muscles of the shoulders. This can lead to some major problems rather than just pain in the long term.
Why are backpacks bad for your back?
Backpacks are not bad, bad for your back and shoulder but it might become a problem when you don’t consider the right ways of carrying them. Carrying your backpack wrongly and buying backpacks that are small for the load must result in stiffing your flexor muscle or in the longer term may also cause muscle fatigue and stiffness. If you want to stop getting there in the future, you need to re-look at the backpack choices you made.
Through a keep observation, it is seen that students like to hold their backpacks on one shoulder. Well, this isn’t a good option by any means but if someone is doing so, they need to change shifts on their shoulders. The adjustable straps on the shoulder and waist need to be tightened up and in the perfect place. The opposite of these actions is likely to result in a few chronic health problems that may get worse with time.
The look you get by carrying your backpack on one shoulder can be stylish, but it is not a good decision health-wise. The burden of the load on one shoulder will result in spasms of the neck and shoulder and can be very painful at times. Always make sure to take all the extra load out of your backpacks. The students/people need to consider a few of these tips given above to avoid back pain and sores. (Ciccone, 2015)
Best Backpacks for back pain
Are you also one of those who feel pain in your back and spine? Have you considered what the reasons are and the root causes before jumping to the conclusion of declaring backpacks the real problem for back pains? The backpacks were made to help people carry their stuff in a more organized way. The motto was always making backpacks for back pain relief not to worsen it. But, clearly, with limited knowledge of how to carry it, it is becoming one of the major issues.
The use of the right kind of backpack can help in preventing back pains but it is still important to consider all the right ways to carry it. The researchers have concluded in a theory that a backpack that weighs more than 10% of children can be a threat to their backaches. Few backpacks that can help you in preventing back pain are: (Newsroom and events, n.d.)
Is your backpack causing unnecessary back pain?
Research has shown that the students who carry heavier backpacks are more likely to get backaches and stiff shoulders. The way you put your backpacks matters. If you carry it unequally or you fail to get the best fit backpack according to your needs then the chances to get backache is not odd. If you are wondering why are backpacks bad for backs, then it is better to look at your choices before you get yourself into something chronic in the future. (Neel Anand, 2018)
Sometimes the type of backpack you need is the one with high capacity and strong protected adjustable straps while you end up buying some less capacity one because of how cute it looks. Look and style matter, yes it does. It makes a real difference but choosing fashion doesn’t mean you shouldn’t choose health and comfort. Consider buying a backpack that may relieve your back pain not promote it. The few qualities that an ideal backpack must have:
The best way to carry your backpack is by carrying it on both sides of your shoulder. Consider keeping only essential things and refrain from piling a lot of stuff in your bags. The shoulder straps must be tightened enough to keep the back of the backpack close to your back. Tight waist straps can make a huge difference and help your back to be able to feel more stabilized.
The heavy weight of backpacks can be very alarming for a long go. The more you are likely to carry heavy weights the more you are likely to get bad aches, soreness and bad postures. The backpacks must be worn properly, much likely as high as you can to decrease the load on your lower extremities.
It is a very stupid claim that backpacks let alone are the reasons for back pain. No, it’s not, it’s just the wrong choices you make and the wrong ways of handling it that make the fuss around. There have been quite clear pictures of instructions given by health professionals that what should be considered when buying backpacks.
A few of the things that you must keep in your mind before you choose your backpacks are: (Harvard Health Publishing, 2004)
- The two-strap backpacks are made with the idea of dividing the burden equally. So, it’s important to hang your backpack on both shoulders.
- Always hang your backpack above your waist. The heavy backpack hanging below your waist can introduce a burden on the shoulder.
- Among various options of sizes, it is best to choose the long wide backpacks. These types of backpacks have a relatively high capacity than others.
- Wide shoulder adjustable straps can help to prevent the direct effect on the joints and ligaments of the shoulders.
- The shoulder and waist straps must be tightened enough.
- Some backpacks have hip straps and that is what we need to keep the burden equal.
- Always choose the leather and polyester fabric with multiple compartments to distribute the things equally.
- A backpack with an extra pocket can be of great use because of the high space for storage.
- Make sure to not stuff up your backpack more than its capacity.
- Refrain yourself from adding any unimportant things to your backpack. (Harvard Health Publishing, 2004)
These are almost all the main things that a person buying backpacks must keep in mind. The idea behind the making of backpacks is to prevent the stiffness and backaches not double it. However, if not worn properly, then it’s no longer a myth that are backpacks bad for your back. So, it’s important to always consider these maintained points and choose the right backpack accordingly.
How to Relieve back pain from a backpack?
Before anything else to consider, all you need is to choose the appropriate fit for your needs. The appropriate size matters the most. The size of the backpack has a lot to do with back pain. To reduce the attacks of back pain, always consider buying a large backpack with multiple compartments.
The stuff you store on your backpack can also trigger the worst backache. It’s very important to know how to store things correctly in your backpack. Always try to avoid adding unnecessary items and heavy-weight items. If there is still a need of adding heavy-weight things, then layer in the bottom and then add lightweight stuff.
We have listened to all these questionable claims but have we wondered why are backpacks bad for the back? We haven’t. All the researchers have concluded it is not the backpacks that lead to flexor muscle pain and stiffness, it’s the incorrect ways of handling the backpack weight. Few options are still on board that you can apply in your life and thus you can lessen the pain intensity and frequency of pain events. These options can be:
Before anything else, you need to correct your ways of handling your backpack. Never lift your backpack while standing, this will abruptly put pressure on your vertebrae and leads to pain. Always hold your backpack on both shoulders to divide pressure and weight load evenly. (TeensHealth, n.d.)
A heavy load can be a very difficult and most prominent reason for back pain in all aspects. Always try to plan what things are important and need to be added. Stuffing up your backpack will only hurt your back and spinal cord. Many health care professionals recommend that the ideal weight of a backpack should be 15% of a person’s body weight. (TeensHealth, n.d.)
The way you hold your backpack and put it back matters. We usually don’t give these little details any importance but with research, it has been proved that students who bend on their knees before lifting and putting back their backpacks are likely to be seen in fewer pain incidents. So, it is necessary to keep in mind that always lift it properly. (TeensHealth, n.d.)
A backpack is a must-have accessory by all means. Despite knowing a few of its potential problem outcomes, using it correctly can decrease pain incidences. The above-mentioned prevention is more of the strategies that you must work on. The better you relook at how you carry it and use it, the better your pain will be.
TeensHealth, n.d. Backpacks basics. [Online]