Local Doctor warns parents about backpacks being to heavy

POPLARVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Thousands of students have returned for another year of school and another year of trauma to their backs, caused by lugging around heavy backpacks.

Backpacks are at the top of the list when it comes to school accessories for your child but who knew something so useful can be so harmful.

Poplarville Chiropractor Dr. Kelvie Culpepper said, "We are seeing more kids with lower back pain and neck pain, due to back packs and them being so heavy."

Culpepper said kids and young adults should not be carrying more than ten percent of their body weight on their backs.

"Some of the backpacks have one strap, some of the kids just wear their straps on one shoulder and some of them wear them to far down but a lot of them are really, really heavy. Sometimes they are 3 to 4 times the amount of recommended weight for your back."

If the recommended weight is to heavy, that could mean there is something else going on.

"Really pay attention to your child when they are complaining," said Culpepper,  "They could have something serious going on in the spine. They could have misalignment and when you catch these posture deviations in kids, high shoulders, high hips, rotation, bad curves in the neck or the lower back, it is much easier to correct and stabilize."

Also pay attention to the type of book bag your child carries. There are several types to choose from but there is one particular kind Culpepper recommends.

"The back pack that I like and I recommend a lot  has nice thick padded shoulder straps, it is adjustable on both sides. There is an inflatable lumbar support, so it hits in the small of your back where your curve comes out and it helps stabilize you weight," said Sleeper.

Paying attention to the signs of an unstable spine early on, will help eliminate years of back problems down the road.