jQuery(function($){ if (!$('#et-info').length) { $('#top-header .container').prepend('
'); } $('#et-info').prepend('South Surrey Chriopractic and Wellness'); });

Backpacks Can Affect Your Child’s Spine Health


Backpack Safety

As the school bells ring and students across the country prepare to head back to their classrooms, a vital aspect of their daily routine demands attention – backpacks. It’s a valuable opportunity to revisit how to wear a backpack to prevent potential long-term damage.

Backpacks are convenient for students to carry their books and school supplies. However, it can impact the load on the spine if they are not appropriately worn or are overloaded.

In this blog, South Surrey Chiropractic and Wellness will explore why it is important to wear a backpack correctly, the potential health effects of improper use, and how regular chiropractic adjustments can help maintain a strong and healthy spine.


backpack safety

The Backpack Predicament

Backpacks are a staple for students of all ages, and they provide an efficient means of transporting essential items like textbooks, notebooks, laptops, and more. However, when used incorrectly, they can become a source of discomfort and pain, especially for children whose bodies are still growing and developing.

When a person wears a backpack incorrectly, it can impact the spine, potentially causing back pain, headaches, neck discomfort, and poor posture. It’s essential to make thoughtful choices, especially for children and youth, while their backs are still developing.

Common Issues Associated with Improper Backpack Usage:

  • Posture Problems: Carrying a heavy backpack incorrectly on your back can lead to poor posture. Over time, this can contribute to chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. Maintaining good posture is vital for the overall health of the spine and nervous system.

  • Muscle Strain: Carrying a backpack that is too heavy can strain the muscles in the shoulders and upper back, causing discomfort and pain. Prolonged stress on these muscles can lead to long-term issues.

  • Nerve Compression: An overloaded or unevenly packed backpack can irritate nerves, leading to tingling sensations, numbness, or weakness in the arms and hands.

  • Decreased Mobility of the Spine: The extra weight from a heavy backpack can cause compression to the spine and result in restricted joint mobility, leading to headaches, stiffness and poor posture.
backpack safety

Image: Canadian Chiropractic Association

Proper Backpack Ergonomics


To help your child’s spine and overall health, we have put together some key points to consider when choosing and using a backpack:


1. Choose the Right Backpack: Our South Surrey Chiropractic team recommends selecting a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back to provide extra support. A waist or chest strap can distribute the weight more evenly.

a. Ensure that the backpack’s weight doesn’t exceed 5-10% of the wearer’s total body weight.

b. For instance, a typical 5th-grade girl weighing around 32 kg (80 lbs) should carry a backpack weighing no more than 4 to 8 lbs.


2. Pack Light: Encourage your child to carry only the necessary items for the day. Regularly clean out the backpack to remove unnecessary items. 

a. How many parents have kids who like to collect rocks? Check the bag regularly to clear such items. 


3. Weight Distribution: Distribute the weight evenly. A backpack with multiple pockets limits the backpack from being over-stuffed or filled with too many heavy items by packing heavier items closer to the backpack’s center. Use all available compartments to help with organization.

a. Consider a smaller backpack with multiple pockets to discourage overloading and evenly distribute weight.


4. Proper Wearing: Adjust the shoulder straps so the backpack sits snugly against the child’s back, with the bottom resting in the lower back curve. The backpack should not hang low or sway side to side.

a. It’s crucial that the backpack never hangs below the waist and that both shoulder straps are used to distribute weight effectively. 

b. Utilizing the front belt strap, or ideally, selecting a backpack with a hip belt, prevents excessive movement that can lead to alignment problems. Opt for wide, padded shoulder straps to avoid discomfort and neck pain. 



South Surrey Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy


Proper backpack ergonomics is essential; however, with regular loading and wearing of backpacks, our spine is subjected to unnecessary load. This is where regular chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy treatments can be beneficial. We can do this by:


  • Improved Posture: Chiropractic adjustments restore motion to areas of the spine that are restricted. Adjustments increase the segmental range of motion of the spine and can help with better mobility overall. South Surrey massage therapists can help by working on the muscles this constant compression affects.

  • Pain/Headache Relief: Chiropractic care can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by improper backpack use. Improper wearing of these backpacks can impact the neck and upper back, leading to many tension-type headaches. Chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy to help with neck tension and allow students to focus on their studies better.

  • Preventative Care: Regular chiropractic check-ups can prevent a problem from becoming chronic. Our South Surrey chiropractors support you by performing adjustments/mobilizations, providing education on proper ergonomics and giving students at-home rehab exercises and stretches.


As you prepare your child for the upcoming school year, pay attention to proper backpack usage. Choosing the right backpack, packing it sensibly, and ensuring your child wears it correctly.

Additionally, consider making chiropractic care a part of your child’s wellness routine. Chiropractic adjustments can go a long way in promoting a healthy spine. This back-to-school season, prioritize the health of your child’s spine and set them up for success in and out of the classroom.


Book Chiropractor Appointments Online


South Surrey Chiropractic and Wellness have an experienced team of practitioners dedicated to providing personalized care and helping you achieve optimal spinal health.

Contact South Surrey Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic today to schedule an appointment and discover the transformative benefits of spinal decompression. Take the first step towards a more pain-free and vibrant life!

South Surrey Chiropractic and Wellness

South Surrey Chiropractic and Wellness is an integrated multidisciplinary wellness clinic in South Surrey, BC, located in the professional buildings at Semiahmoo Shopping Center (16th Ave/North Bluff Road and Martin Drive).

1656 Martin Dr. #305, Surrey, BC V4A 6E7. Phone: 604-531-6446.

The clinic offers various services to help individuals achieve and maintain optimal health, including:

Our South Surrey Chiropractic and Wellness team works together to provide high-quality, personalized care to help their patients achieve their health and wellness goals.

If you are interested in exploring the benefits of our integrated wellness center, contact our office to book an appointment or answer any questions. 

Online booking is available to schedule appointments at your convenience. We offer direct billing to most insurance providers.

South Surrey Chiropractic and Wellness offers patients a welcoming and supportive environment to take the first steps towards a healthier and happier you.  We look forward to welcoming you to our wellness clinic.