Chiropractic Treatment: Backpacks and Back Pain

Maybe you have more important things to worry about. Yes, it may lead to back pain, but it’s not like carrying a heavy backpack with a lot of school books can cause serious illnesses, like scoliosis – as far as we know.

Still, carrying a heavy backpack can cause your child to suffer from chronic shoulder, neck and back pain.

Is carrying a heavy backpack to school causing health problems for your kids? It might be. Are they carrying more than 10-20% of their body weight in their backpack? And do they tend to carry their backpack on only one shoulder? If so, chances are their backpack is causing some health problems.

Fortunately, the fashion of carrying a backpack on only one shoulder seems to be fading. On a visit to The University of Texas at Austin, I saw that most students had their backpacks strapped over both shoulders, instead of the single shoulder look that was ‘fashionable’ in my day. Also, some backpacks now come with wheels, which allow the student to roll the bag rather than carry it.

  • Does your child complain of back pain?
  • Does your child walk bent over sideways to try to adjust for the heavy load of a backpack?
  • Does your child complain of numbness and tingling in his arms or hands?
  • Does your child carry more than 10-20% of her body weight in her backpack?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you might want to take some steps to minimize the chances that carrying a backpack will cause your child back pain or other health problems. 

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!


Iannelli, Vincent MD – Wondering Whether Your Child’s Backpack Is Too Heavy? – 25-Sept-2016
Leffert RD – Orthop Clin North Am – 01-Apr-2000; 31(2): 331-45