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www.wmfd.com - It's back-to-school season, and that means students are hitting the books, but lugging around hefty backpacks can bring on back pain. }}" />

   
 
 
Health Minute Examines How Backpacks Can Lead To Back Aches

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 8/25/2013 It's back-to-school season, and that means students are hitting the books. But lugging around hefty backpacks can bring on back pain. Here's Carl Azuz with today's Health Minute. Often, everything a child needs at school can be found in one place, on their back. From books and notebooks to pencils and other school supplies, it all gets toted around in a backpack. But all that stuff can really add up in weight, says Dr. David Marshall, Medical Director of Sports Medicine at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "We're starting to see more and more back pain complaints in the doctors and the sports medicine offices and the question is, is there a correlation between backpacks and back pain?" he asks. D. Marshall is demonstrating how he advises his own daughter to properly wear hers. "The way she has it adjusted out, it's way too low," he says. "The weight of the backpack should never be lower than the waist line, so the straps should be adjusted so the backpack fits high up on her shoulders. The shoulder straps need to be two of them, not just one, and also they need to be wide and padded." He recommends the use of an abdominal strap. "That will also help redistribute the load evenly across the child's back without having the effect of 10 pounds pulling back on their shoulders then," he says. Experts recommend these bags not weight more than about 10 to 15 percent of the student's body weight. Also, so the child does not fall or bump into another student. If that's not feasible, you may want to purchase a rolling backpack.
   
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