Backpack Pain Adults & Kids

Backpacks: A Growing Pain in Children & Adults

Back and neck pain is one of the nation’s leading pain-related problem in both adults and children. While there are so many contributing factors, one common denominator was found to be none other than backpacks, or book-bags.

People tend to carry baggage due to various reasons or traumas, which tend to be emotional. But physical baggage is just a big. We easily stuff our things in our backpacks and book-bags or purses to make sure we have all we need for the day like: water bottles, books, laptops, lunch, etc. We know they tend to get heavy, but we toughen up and deal with it, without realizing how much impact this does on the body.

Lets take a look at where and why backpacks have become such a pain-staking problem…

Children & Adolescence

Think back to when you were in grade school and had to lug around those backpacks full of your books to and from school, all so you could use them for homework. Especially for those younger ones who haven’t reached the age yet where you get a locker…These bags are much heavier than you think. Children should be only carrying about 10-15% of their body weight on their back. Currently they are carrying around 30-40% on their backs!

Because of this amount of weight, back problems are arising and is following into their adult lives. Some developing issues include: compressed discs, deteriorate the lumbar, and have poor posture later on because of growing back pain.


Remember back n college carrying around books across campus? Same thing as children. You’ve been carrying around books for so long you’ve likely built an immunity or muscle. But that’s not always a good thing, because you’re not strengthening yourself correctly, but rather making certain muscles worse.

Or if you live in a major city like New York and you take the train, so you have your book-bag, purse or briefcase full of your work necessities. 

Walking around with these heavy loads as you age only gets worse. Of course, doesn’t all pains? But it can damage the soft tissue found in your shoulders which causes nerve damage, muscle strain or even our internal organs. Eek! With that, pain range can vary person to person. But that range ca increase over time and experience limited range of motion in joints.

Is your backpack really too heavy?

Signs your backpack is too heavy and affecting your body:

  • Difficulty putting on/taking off your back/shoulders
  • Neck and shoulder strain
  • Strap indents or markings 
  • Numb or tingling 
  • Poor posture from weight distribution/compensation

Decrease/Prevent Pain

Not to fret if you had a fully heavy backpack as a child, adolescent, young adult or middle aged adulthood. We’ve provided some tips to help decrease or prevent the pain you may have. Although it may not totally resolve all pain, it’s sure to help none-the-less. 

  1. Posture. Make a mental note if you are hunched over or struggling to pick up your belongings. 
  2. Don’t let your backpack sag down like sagging pants. Pull it up as far as it can go. 
  3. Pack what you need. Keep things in the office or at home that you know you don’t need to lug around daily.

Having a strong back/shoulders and core will definitely help make your life less painful. This overall helps your posture and find it easier to carry weight.

Any little changes can be life changing for your back. It can be difficult to adapt to change or adjusting, but it is not impossible. Ask your parter for help or as accountability. Because asking your husband to carry all the heavy stuff isn’t helping him either…


We look forward to hearing from you

chiropractic spine model


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