Mail: Site Enquiry - Park View

Park View

35 Chesswood Road


West Sussex


Tel 01903 230066

Back to School, heavy bags and ill fitting furniture.

It may sound unbelievable but children do get back pain. In fact, according to research done by the British Chiropractic Association, 32% of six and seven year olds get back pain at some time. By the time they reach reach age eleven the figure rises to 45%.

School Bags Can Be Heavy

Heavy school bags are often to blame. Nowadays, schools rarely provide lockers forcing the children to carry around their bag full of the whole day’s books. Some children carry the books for whole week plus their PE kit. As an adult, would you put you with that?

The bag design is often another problem. A single hand strap sports or book bag means that all the weight is carried on one side causing huge strain on the back. A better option is a long shoulder strap allowing the bag to be carried across the body. Best is a rucksack, providing both shoulder straps are used as intended, reducing back pain by up to a third.

School Chairs May Cause Back Problems

Other culprits are the classroom chair often chosen for price and is the wrong size, rigid and unadjustable, and uncomfortable. Again something that most adults would not put with for long. It is up to you what you do at home, but employers have an obligation to provide suitable seating. Schools have no such duty.

The position of the school furniture also has an impact. Sitting in small groups around square or round tables means that few pupils sit facing the teacher. Imagine how you would feel if you had to sit turned to the side or twisting all the way round at work. Acceptable? I think not.

Length of the lessons is another factor. A study at the university of Surrey found that children sitting hunched over were prone to low back pain. Children whose movement was restricted or were forced to sit still were likely to suffer from upper back and neck pains

Lifestyle Factors

Ofcom recently released a survey showing that playing computer games and watching TV has been overtaken by the use of laptops and tablets, such as the iPad. Most teenagers watched TV at the same time as sending text messages and browsing the internet. They also found that 40% of five year olds use the internet at home. All this promotes a sedentary lifestyle, which is known to cause back pain, but does it also lead to obesity and associated health problems? So far studies have yet to prove a link.

Just like in adults a single episode back pains lasting no more than a few days is nothing to worry about.

However, a third of children go on to having long term pain or recurrent symptoms. It is important to take steps to eliminate the factors mentioned above thereby, hopefully, stop the problems. However, if they persist get a chiropractor to check out the problem.

How to Prevent Back Pain In Children

  1. Carry a rucksack and use both shoulder straps.
  2. Make sure that the rucksack weighs no more the 1/10 of the child carrying it.
  3. Encourage the school to provide decent chairs, or at least to have all the children face the front of the classroom
  4. Use a chair when playing computer games
  5. Ideally use a PC rather than a laptop (advice sheets)
  6. If using a laptop, sit on a decent chair without slouching.
  7. Use an adjustable office swivel chair at a desk for homework
  8. Spend time outside playing sports, going for a walk etc.
  9. Get a chiropractic check-up if back or neck pain persists

Want More Help?

At Park View Acupuncture and Chiropractic Clinic we are always willing to offer a free assessment to ascertain whether treatment is required. If we recommend treatment and you wish to go ahead our reduced children’s fees are £45 for the initial consultation and treatment and £25 for each visit thereafter. In most cases children require less treatment than adults. Just bear in mind that treatment without also reducing the postural stress is unlikely to be as successful in the long term.


Share on Reddit
Share on Digg
Share on Delicious
Share on Stumble Upon

01903 230066