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Is Your Child’s Backpack Causing Back Pain

Over the years, the number of children going to a chiropractor for back, neck, and shoulder pain has increased significantly. According to surveys, about 64% of kids experience neck or back pain at some point. At Kaster Chiropractic in Fort Myers, one of our first questions is about the child’s backpack.

It’s not unheard of for parents to tell me their young child is wearing a backpack weighing 20+ pounds all day, every day.

This has been especially true since the personal contact-limiting rules of the pandemic forced students to get used to carrying everything they need for the day with them. That’s the type of habit that will have kids continually in pain with the potential for developmental issues in body formation as they age.

Issues Caused by Heavy Back Packs

Not only does it zap students’ energy, but carrying a heavy backpack can also have detrimental effects on their health. Some of the injuries that can be caused by carrying a heavy backpack include spinal strains, vertebral stress fractures, and growth plate inflammation.

Carrying a heavy backpack can also affect a child’s posture over time. For instance, if they lean too far forward, their body will compensate for the load being carried by the pack.

Technology Does Help…

Today, kids are no longer expected to carry several large textbooks with them when they go to class. Instead, they are using tablets and laptops to carry their books.

Technological advancements have made it easier for kids to carry their packs. But, even in schools that are more tech-friendly, parents should still check in on their kids’ bags.

How Heavy Should a Backpack Be?

According to the National Safety Council, children should only carry around 10% to 15% of their body weight in their backpacks. This means that if I were a 5-year-old child weighing 40 pounds, my backpack would only weigh around 5 pounds.

To minimize the amount of weight that your child is carrying around, start by measuring with your bathroom scale. Make sure that the backpack should not be more than 10% to 15% of their body weight.


  1. Before you start planning on what to pack for school, it’s important that you know what books your child will need to complete their academic requirements for that day.
  2. Make sure that the backpack that you choose fits your child’s size. It should also have two shoulder straps.
  3. A padded back and wide straps are also important to ensure that the backpack will be comfortable to carry. If the backpack has narrow straps, it can cause numbness and tingling in the hands and arms.
  4. The weight should be evenly distributed across the backpack’s two straps. Also, make sure that the waist strap is used to distribute the weight evenly.
  5. Make sure that the contents of your child’s backpack are strategically packed. For instance, if your child requires additional clothes, put them in the front portion of the bag.

If your child starts to feel discomfort after putting on or taking off their backpack, it’s a sign that the pack is too heavy.

We Can Help with back pain at any age!

If your child is experiencing back pain due to improper backpack use, we can help. At Kaster Chiropractic and Associates, we use gentle chiropractic adjustments to treat the underlying causes of back pain and help them reach their full health potential. Call us at 239-332-2555 to book your appointment today.

Treating Patients in the Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Surrounding Areas Since 2003
With Musculoskeletal Conditions & Other Conditions Requiring Chiropractic Care