top of page

Can a Backpack Damage Your Spine? How heavy is too much...

How much should your backpack weigh? Can a backpack that is too heavy cause damage to the spine? Here's what you can do to be safe.

Chiropractor near me | Springfield Chiropractic Center


Wearing a backpack that is too heavy can cause back pain, neck pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and hands, and weakness in the arms and hands. Done repetitively or for long periods of time, this practice can potentially damage the spine and sensitive nerves of the neck and back.


How much should your backpack weigh?

In the study titled Recovery of Brachial Plexus Lesions Resulting from Heavy Backpack Use, the authors looked to answer this question.


Spanning a 6 year period, the study evaluated 193,450 military recruits who had to carry heavy backpacks on a regular basis. Using a questionnaire focused on symptoms such as weakness in the arms and hands as well as sensitive nerve tests, the researchers were able to identify those recruits who experienced Brachial Plexus Lesions (damage to the nerves that come from the neck and travel down the arm).


Based on the information gathered from this study, the authors determined that damage to the spine and nerve damage will likely occur with the use of a backpack weighing approximately 40 kg (88 pounds).


Backpack Safety Recommendations

As a chiropractor, the weight presented in this study far exceeds any backpack recommendation that I would make to one of my patients.


For children, the American Chiropractic Association recommends the weight of a backpack not exceed 10% of the child’s body weight (e.g. a 7 pound backpack for a child that weighs 70 pounds). For adults who carry a backpack on a regular basis, I believe this 10% rule is still a safe recommendation. For less frequent and short term use, a healthy adult (with no spinal problems or other health related issues) should be able to handle a backpack ranging from 15 to 18 percent of their body weight depending on their level of strength and fitness.


If you are overweight or have any health condition that may be exacerbated through exertion or added weight to your back, check with your chiropractor before following these recommendations.


Chiropractor near me | Springfield Chiropractic Center

Keep in mind, abnormal stresses are forced on the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine (neck, mid back and low back) any time you carry a backpack. These stresses can lead to spinal misalignments, irritation to the joints of the spine, and compressive forces to the discs and spinal nerves. In these instances, a chiropractic treatment called a chiropractic adjustment may be necessary.


For those of you who have a passion for hiking with a backpack or simply use a backpack to carry books to school, following these weight recommendations and getting a routine spinal check-up by your chiropractor will help to keep you active and feeling great.


Backpack Safety Guide

I have created a backpack safety guide to help with the selection and use of a child's backpack. Click here if you would like to download this one-page guide.

To learn more about my practice or to schedule a chiropractic appointment please visit www.Springfield-Chiropractic.com


To have articles like this appear in your Facebook feed, please like the Springfield Chiropractic Center's Facebook page.

To receive more great health information delivered directly to your inbox, please subscribe to my health newsletter.


Wishing you good health,


THIS SITE DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY MEDICAL ADVICE: Any information on this website is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease or prescribing any medication, vitamins, herbs, supplements or other treatment. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any healthcare provider affiliated with our website. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements available on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.




1 Comment


Commenting has been turned off.

<b><a href="https://www.dosepharmacy.com/cenforce-120mg-tablet">cenforce 120 mg</a></b> is used to treat erectile dysfunction. <b><a href="https://www.dosepharmacy.com/cenforce-120mg-tablet">sildenafil 120 mg</a></b> inhibits the action of the enzyme PDE5 to relax the muscles of the blood vessels in the penis. This medicine can be used as per the advice of the doctor. Online pharmacy store in the USA gives the best offers and 24 hours of online help.

Like
Dr Hagman.jpg

DR. JASON HAGMAN

Go to Website
bottom of page