Back to school every year can be stressful to students, whether it is a child of 5 years old up to a college student. There is so much to think about and prepare for, including supplies, books, and backpacks. Wearing backpacks improperly has caused many problems with students, and now that Ipads and laptops are a part of education, this can pose problems as well. There is a less damaging way to use these items that we will explore in this blog.
Wearing a backpack, using a computer, phone and Ipad the wrong way, all have something in common. They all damage the neck. Some of these injuries can cause problems for several years, so it is worth looking at prevention.
When wearing a backpack, there is a tendency to wear a backpack on one shoulder with one strap. This can pull on the neck and cause a rippling effect on the spine. It can even cause subluxations which can cause pinched nerves, migraines and an over compensation of the spine that causes strain in other areas. The only way to fix this is by getting a chiropractic adjustment and wearing a backpack with straps on each shoulder, as well as not overload a backpack. But the overall best solution is to get a rolling backpack or cart, to take strain off the back entirely.
Students as young as elementary age use Ipads, phones and computers at school and at home. Though technology has it’s benefits, especially for education, neck injuries from these devices (text neck or tech neck) have accelerated at an enormous rate. The problem is, is that when people use these devices, they hunch and lower their heads to look at these devices in a fixed position. If held for too long in the same position, it puts strain on the neck causing migraines, pinched nerves, subluxations, and muscle strain.
To prevent this, take several breaks and do not allow your neck to be in one position for too long. Move your head from side to side and massage the muscles to get circulation flowing. Adjust your line of site with your device to be as close to eye level as possible. If that means getting a laptop table that tilts, then that is the best option. Be conscious of your posture and if your neck is dropping. This may be hard to remember. If you set a reminder on your student’s device to be aware of your posture, that might be a trick to preventing injury. Also reevaluate your student’s chair and computer setup to make sure it is the right height for them, especially as they grow.
With 50% of the youth population suffering from back pain and neck pain, preventing this by adjusting ergonomics of the devices your student uses and getting regular chiropractic adjustments, your student can be pain free and not develop long term nerve injuries that can last into adulthood.