In the same way you may experience discomfort after sitting in your home office or workplace chair for extended periods of time, your child also spends most of the day in a chair. Often, academic institution chairs and desks are not as ergonomic as your office unit. Furthermore, children may not have the same commitment to sitting with proper posture.
Believe it or not, your child may experience back-to-school back pain. Here is how you can help your child find relief from the pain in their neck and back this school year.
Your Child’s Back Pain May Be Attributed to Their Backpack
School goes with books, in the same way, heavy backpacks pair with back pain. Stuffing the backpack full of textbooks and more is one of the most common causes of back pain for school-aged children. Here are a few backpack tips:
- Choose an ergonomic and high-quality backpack. Not all backpacks are alike. Some are built with straps that can better handle heavy loads. Quality backpacks also position the weight more appropriately. This can make all the difference for your child.
- Encourage your child to use their locker. Some kids spend too much time at their lockers. Others hardly remember where their locker is located. For the child or teenager that tends to avoid their lockers, back pain may be in their future.
- Only pack what is really necessary for the day. Your child probably does not need every textbook every day. The same is true for notebooks, computers, first aid kits, non-perishable canned food, etc. Plan for the day/week and make sure they are only wearing what they need on their backs.
- Encourage your child to put the backpack down when they are waiting in the car line or for the bus. Lighter loads worn for shorter periods of time will help reduce the opportunity for spinal misalignments.
The right backpack, packed well, can go a long way toward preventing back pain. However, backpacks are not the only cause of back and neck pain.
Proper Posture Is Vital to Preventing Back Pain
A lot has changed about education in the last few decades; however, one thing that remains the same is that children spend significant amounts of time in their chairs. Here are a few tips to help improve their posture:
- Emphasize the 90/90/90 rule. Their knees should be at a right angle with their feet flat on the floor. Their hips should be at a 90-degree angle, and their elbows should make a right angle on their desks.
- Remind your child not to slump over their desks. Make sure they are getting plenty of sleep and a nutritious breakfast so they have the endurance to sit up straight during the day.
- When using a computer, make sure the screen or monitor is at eye level. Also, your child should not have to lean over to use their keyboard or mouse.
- During the school day, there should be plenty of opportunities to get up and move. While your child is at home, working on homework and studying, make sure they are taking breaks every forty-five to fifty minutes.
- Physical activity is crucial to your child’s health and fitness. A strong back will help them maintain proper posture. Help your child sit well by encouraging outdoor play and exercise.
Poor posture can cause spinal misalignment that leads to back pain and discomfort. Helping your child practice proper posture techniques early will go a long way toward reducing pain now and in the future.
Beware of Text Neck or Smartphone Syndrome
Once upon a time, this condition was called “scholar's neck.” Now, it is more commonly associated with the way in which we lean forward to scroll on our smartphones. Over time, dropping your head to look at a book or your phone can cause Forward Head Posture (FHP). This is painful and can lead to a number of other issues if allowed to persist.
Stretching Can Make a Big Difference
If your child is dealing with back pain or stiffness, there are a number of stretches that can help them find relief. When it comes to the back, neck, and spine, you do not want to perform just any type of stretching. Check with your trusted chiropractor for some stretching your child can do at home.
Visit Your Chiropractor
People often ask us whether chiropractic care is safe for children. We have addressed this question in more detail in a previous post, but the answer is a resounding “yes!”
Chiropractic care has an excellent safety record among adults and children alike. The practice is drug-free and non-invasive, so it provides patients the opportunity to experience healing without surgery or something addictive.
One of your chiropractor’s primary goals is to correct subluxations or misalignments in the spine. Subluxations can occur as early as birth, often as a result of labor. The majority are a result of childhood fun, games, and falls from walking age to twenty years old.
In addition to helping ease pain and discomfort, visiting the chiropractor can benefit your child in a number of other ways, including:
- Ear Infections: Children who experience ear infections can see a considerable reduction in their frequency and potentially avoid the need for tubes.
- Allergies, Sinus Issues, and Asthma: Subluxations are a contributing factor in many children's allergies and asthma. Visiting the chiropractor can correct these issues at their root.
- Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity Disorder: Misalignments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae, just below the skull, can short-circuit the medulla or brain stem, resulting in behavioral issues.
- Bedwetting: If your child is prone to bedwetting, spinal misalignment could be to blame.
- Acid Reflux and Heartburn: If a child's spine is misaligned, he or she may experience acid reflux and heartburn. A child might experience significant relief from these conditions with spinal correction.
If your child is going to see a chiropractor, you want to make sure it is someone they can trust. Dr. Monitto has treated a number of pediatric patients, from newborns to teenagers.
You can count on the team at Monitto Chiropractic to take the utmost care with your child’s chiropractic treatment. Contact the team at Monitto for more information about easing back-to-school back pain for your child.