Benefits of Chiropractic Care for KidsAugust 7, 2017
It’s that time of year again. If you have children, you are probably getting them ready to go back to school. This means that it is time to take a long, hard look at your child’s backpack. Backpacks are wonderful for carrying books, but they can be very harmful to a child’s growing body. The longer a child is wearing a backpack, the longer it is going to take for the child’s back curvature to correct itself. Today, we are going to give you the tools you need to combat back problems caused by backpacks. First, let’s discuss why chiropractic care is especially important for children.
Why Chiropractic Care is Important for Children
Your children are growing rapidly – as you’ve probably realized from all the back-to-school clothing purchases! Habits that are established early in one’s life are more likely to endure throughout the years. Imagine a flowering bush: one should prune it regularly to help the bush grow healthier in the long run. This same principle of nipping bad habits in the bud applies to children’s backs as well. If your children can begin chiropractic care at a young age, they will grow up to be healthier adults down the road.
Children have highly impressionable nervous systems and spines: if anything happens to the nervous system, the entire body is affected. The entire body is affected because, through nerves, the spinal cord connects to every muscle, organ, gland, tissue and cell in the body. If something happens to the spinal cord, the rest of the body feels it.
The spine helps protect the spinal cord and, thus, helps keep the rest of the body in good health. While children are developing and rapidly growing, they are more susceptible to illness due to misalignment.
5 Common Troubles in Children Due to Misalignment
- Trouble sleeping
- Ear infections
- Bed wetting
Chiropractic care is a great way to take proactive steps to improve a child’s health. It also encourages that child to continue building healthy habits in her or his life later on.
Why Backpacks Matter
So, how can we teach children to continue healthy chiropractic practices when it comes to backpacks?
When searching for backpacks, pick out one that is of small or medium size. Do not choose a large backpack, especially large backpacks without compartments. Compartments help hold items in place, making the items’ movements less noticeable for the child’s muscles. Also, teaching children to keep heavy items in the compartments closest to their bodies is extremely beneficial for avoiding injury. Yet, note that, in general, the more space children have in their backpacks, the more they are going to want to fill the empty parts with more items. This will likely lead to heavier backpacks and more muscle strain.
Be sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10% of your child’s weight. A heavy backpack causes a child’s muscles to overcompensate for the extra weight, often leading to hunched shoulders or an over-arched back. According to a study done in Italy, 60% of children feel pain from their heavy backpacks. This statistic is quite startling, especially because it could easily be prevented.
Check how low your children’s backpacks fall in comparison to their waist lines. Your children’s backpacks should not fall any lower than 4 inches below the waist line. If they do, it may be that the backpack is too large for your child. Be sure to adjust straps to bring the backpack higher or purchase a smaller backpack.
Encourage your child to wear both backpack straps. It very harmful for one’s back to be unbalanced. When large amounts of weight are unevenly distributed across the back, it overcompensates in other areas. This is harmful for your back muscles, spine and, ultimately, nervous system.
Choose backpacks that have padded straps. Most backpacks have these features, but it is important to check regardless. Non-padded straps put added strain onto a child’s back, causing that child to feel extra pain. If possible, find backpacks that have across-the-chest straps and across-the-waist straps as well. These add more support by keeping the backpack’s center of gravity closer to the child’s.
If your children are already complaining of back pain, set up an appointment with Dr. Van Ness or Dr. Parkin to begin chiropractic care as soon as possible. Regular adjustments from Dr. Van Ness and Dr. Parkin can combat unhealthy practices and keep your child in good health throughout the school year. Both doctors are available for appointments all summer. You can set up an appointment for your child by calling them right now at 847-842-8070, or click here for office availability.