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Back to School: 3 Tips to Keep Your Kids’ Backs Healthy

In January our focus is on kids returning to school.

Did you know that 1 in 3 school children are suffering from lower back pain at any one time (NSW Branch of the Chiropractors Association of Australia)?

Many children are spending hours sitting slouched at a desk, hunched over a computer or iPad which inevitability leads to poor posture. Poor posture increases pressure on your child’s spine and can cause tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue. Furthermore, research has found a strong link between posture, mood and depression.

Text neck is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long. And it is becoming more and more common.

At North Shore Family Chiropractors Chatswood, most of the spinal problems we see in children are caused by overloaded, poorly fitted school bags, bad posture and knocks received during sport and play. These problems can have a long term impact on a child’s spinal development.

Here is a before and after treatment photo of one of our young patients.  What a difference in just one month of treatment.kids-posture-before-and-after

In fact, we spend many hours treating adults where the damage started during childhood. This makes us passionate about supporting optimal spine health for the whole family. Taking preventative action now will ensure that your children have a healthy pain-free back throughout their schooling.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic can demonstrate correct posture and support you with strategies to help your children care for their spines. The Chiropractor’s Association have recommended parents look at 3 key areas – the “Triple S” approach – to ensure the spinal health of their children.

1. Stick to Ergonomic School Bags

About 5000 children visit emergency room every year due to backpack related injuries, and even more children go untreated for neck, shoulder and back pain. Backpacks that have broad shoulders straps that are adjustable and distribute weight evenly over both shoulders are the best choice. Bags that feature waist straps, which distribute weight evenly over the hips and hold the backpack firmly along the spine are recommended.

Ideally your children should only be carrying 10% of their body weight in their backpack. It’s best to pack all heavy items at the bottom of the backpack close to the spine. If you are ensure whether your existing backpack is suitable, we are happy to advise you on your next visit to North Shore Family Chiropractors.

2. Sit Down Properly

badposturechildrenChildren spend a lot of time sitting, both at school and then at home in front of screens. Correct posture when sitting is critical in avoiding damage to the spine, such as abnormal curvature of the spine. Consider providing your children with an ergonomically designed desk and chair to use when studying at home.

Habits to avoid include: studying at a table where their feet don’t touch the floor, sitting in a twisted position on the couch, and lying on your stomach or side on the floor.

3. Safe Sports

Regular exercise is important for our health and wellbeing, so playing sport is something that we strongly encourage. However, many of the injuries we treat in children and young people happen as a result of knocks and bumps they receive during sport or play. These may not seem a big deal at the time, but can become an issue down the track. Encourage your children to gently warm up before exercise to improve blood flow to the muscles and prepare the spine.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is one of our favourite quotes and a
great reminder to be proactive when it comes to your child’s spinal health. At North Shore Family Chiropractors, we have the ability to detect and correct spinal problems in children of all ages. Our treatment programs are complimented by specially designed rehabilitative devices for kids and teenagers. The earlier we find the problem and correct it the better it is for their long term health.

spine-health-kids

 

Has your child had a proper spinal assessment?

We suggest bringing in your children for a regular spine and posture check so we can treat any issues early. A regular check-up at our friendly clinic can prevent your children developing back problems down the track.

 

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