Alert! Beware of the overstuffed school backpack

You might be wondering why so many kids are complaining of neck and back pain, especially with school starting again. The probable reason is backpacks that are stuffed with everything from books to laptops to musical instrument.

Take a look at these: “The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission calculated that carrying a 12-pound backpack to and from school and lifting it 10 times a day for an entire school year puts a cumulative load on youngsters’ bodies of 21,600 pounds,”According to The New York Times, “or the equivalent of six mid-sized cars.”

Experts are concerned that children may be at higher risk of developing more serious conditions, such as stress fractures in the back, inflammation growth cartilage, nerve damage in neck and shoulders, and even stress fractures.

“Over time, the heavy weight of a backpack can cause an unnatural alignment of the spine as students are forced to offset the pressure by arching the back or bending forward at the hips,”Sherry McAllister, DC executive vice president of the non-profit Foundation for Chiropractic ProgressIt is possible for students to experience additional pain from prolonged sitting at a desk, especially if they are already prone.

Doctors of Chiropractic, who have at least seven years of higher education, are trained to provide hands-on, drug-free care that naturally aligns and strengthens the spine. They also advise on body positioning, which is especially important for children as they grow. The foundation has a lot of knowledge about backpack-related tips.

* Limit packs to no more than 10 percent of a kid’s weight.

* Packs with padded straps and multiple compartments help distribute weight.