Back-to-School Fashion Trend Can Cause Back Pain

back to school trendForget peplum tops and detailed denim. One of the hottest trends in back-to-school fashion is a functional accessory – messenger bags. Hip, crossbody bags have replaced the more traditional two-strap backpack as the book bag of choice for preschool to preteen kids.

As a physical therapist, this is one fashion trend I encourage you and your kids to avoid. The messenger style bag can put unnecessary strain on the back, neck and shoulders, and over time, cause muscle imbalances and persistent back pain.

Backpacks with two straps – centered in the middle of the back – are the preferable option to carry books and homework back and forth to school.

Rather not battle with your child over his or her choice of book bag? Try these tips to prevent back pain caused by messenger bags:

  • Lighten the load: The messenger bag should not exceed 10 – 15 percent of your child’s total body weight.
  • Keep the heaviest items close to the body and bring home only the books that are needed.
  • Wear the strap diagonally across the body and alternate sides daily.
  • Shorten the strap so that the center of the bag falls at the hip and the child’s hand can slide in and out of the bag with ease. If the bag is any lower, it can hit the child’s legs and impede walking.

If your child suffers from back pain, a pediatric physical therapist can help him or her improve posture, correct muscle imbalances and treat pain. Contact Good Shepherd Pediatrics at 1-888-44-REHAB or request an appointment.

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