Posture: The Window to the Spine
And the impact heavy backpacks have on growing spine
Millions of children and young adults around the world return to school this month. Heading back to school typically means a new teacher, a new classroom, and new content to learn. With new content comes new learning material and technology. Backpacks serve as a terrific invention meant to help kids and teenagers more easily and efficiently carry technology, books, and tools for learning. This amazing accessory provides a positive addition to learning but also produces the risk of significant health challenges when not used properly.
A well-established connection exists between the overall function of an individual and the health of that person’s spine and posture. Six medical doctors published research that emphasized the importance of posture as a reflection of a person’s well-being. The study determined that every monitored aspect of human health deteriorated as posture deviation increased. The postural distortion that created the largest negative changes on overall health connected directly to forward head posture, shoulders slumped and rolled forward, and reduced curvature in the lower back. This exact posture occurs in millions of people due to stressors like sitting at desks for prolonged periods, overuse of computers and phones, poor sleeping habits, and wearing improperly fitting heavy backpacks.
Chiropractic helps people of all ages, including babies and children, improve spinal health and posture to prevent postural abnormalities and degeneration in both spine and overall health. Chiropractors focus on removing interference from the central nervous system by finding areas of spinal misalignment and nerve stress (called subluxations) and gently correcting them. Better posture and improved body function result from an optimally functioning spine. Regular chiropractic checkups and adjustments maximize function of the brain and central nervous system while helping children, teenagers, and young adults focus, concentrate, perform, and learn better.
One important back to school method for minimizing stress on spinal, nervous system, and postural health comes from taking appropriate precaution and action steps when carrying a backpack, sitting at a desk, and sleeping.
3 Tips To Minimize Backpack Strain
1. Make sure the backpack is the appropriate size for child
2. Make sure both backpack straps are worn around each shoulder at all times
3. Make sure backpack weight does not exceed 15% of a child’s weight
3 Simple Tips to Improve Posture
1. Correct sitting position – low back support, shoulders back, eyes looking level or slightly up.
2. Posture breaks – Research shows that taking frequent short breaks (mini-breaks) are more effective in preventing aches, pains, and poor posture than a single longer break in the middle of the day. Muscle movement and stretches are major advantages of mini-breaks.
3. Correct sleeping position – The best sleep position occurs with the spine in a neutral and natural position on one’s side, with a pillow supporting the neck so that the spine remains in a straight line with a cushion between the legs/knees. By keeping the spine straight during sleeping, muscles tension decreases in muscles connected to the spine, allowing for a more relaxing, restful sleep.
Proactive action serves the health of the entire family. Part of that action plan should always include regular visits to the family Chiropractor to ensure the health of the spine and nervous system make this school year the healthiest it can be.