Back to School Tips

Back to School Chiropractic Tips for Children and Adults. It’s almost that time of year! Back-to-school supplies are at the top of every list: new clothes, new shoes, freshly sharpened pencils, and new sets of markers, and maybe even a new computer!

There are plenty of things to keep in mind for both children and adults when it comes to heading back to school. If you know what to look out for and prepare for, you’ll be truly ready for all the back-to-school things headed your way.


Backpack Tips

Protect your back and neck health by being careful about the weight of your backpack, the strap type, and where the backpack is placed on your back.

  • Keep the weight off: The backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 15% of the body weight of the child or adult wearing the backpack. For example, if your child weighs 100 pounds, the backpack should be no heavier than 10-15 pounds.
    If your school offers digital textbooks, use them. Heavy textbooks add a lot to the weight of your pack.
  • Low and Close: Keep heavy items low and close to the wearer’s back. Lighter items can be placed on top or in the front or side pockets.
  • Even it Out: Use both straps. Without both straps on the shoulders, the weight is not evenly distributed and can add stress to one side of the back, shoulders, and/or spine.
  • Don’t sag: The pack should be close to your body, not hanging down.
  • Strap In: Use extra straps. If there are waist and/or chest straps, you can use those to help distribute weight more evenly to keep additional pressure off your shoulders.


Sports Tips

If you’re looking to protect your health, organized sports are a wonderful way to stay in shape and have fun. It’s also important, however, to protect your body while you’re having fun—as you’re able, choose a non-contact sport so that you and your teammates won’t be at risk of contact injury when you’re playing. It’s also always a good idea to have gear that fits properly—particularly protective gear if you have chosen to participate in a contact sport.


Wear good shoes (with good insoles) and consider cross-training so you focus on different muscle groups from the ones you use while playing your sport of choice. When you cross-train, you can better prevent injury by strengthening the opposing muscles in a pair.


Desk Posture

Back to school, and back to hitting the books—make sure your desk posture is good, and you’re able to sit comfortably. Don’t hunch over, and make sure you have enough support for your low back (lumbar). You can take care of this by using a small cushion or rolling up a towel to place behind your lumbar area.


Another item that’s important to take note of is the height of your desk and chair. Are you able to type and move the mouse comfortably? If not, adjust the height of your desk or your chair so that your elbows can be relatively close to your body.


Good desk posture link


When you’re working, resist the urge to hunch over your books, notebook, or computer. Keep your chin tucked, keep your shoulders back, and sit up straight.

Doing all of this will help you keep your back and neck comfortable.


Bike Safety

Back to school means back to commuting, too. If you’re a cyclist, or you plan on biking to school, go through these steps to stay safe and comfortable on your ride:

  • Buy a properly-fitting helmet
  • Get measured at a bike shop to see what height bike will be best for you
  • Be aware of your bike type options—heavier bikes allow more shock absorption during your ride, but lighter (carbon fiber) bikes will be easier to carry up any stairs, or lift into commuter bike racks on the bike or light rail
  • Update your grip tape regularly so your hands (and body) have more cushion
  • Fill your tires with the right amount of air (not too much, not too little)
  • Check the weather before you go out
  • Learn hand signals and use them (and follow traffic rules)
  • During longer rides, be sure to get out of the saddle (off the seat) every 20 minutes or so
  • Stretch before and after your ride

After the summer is over and it’s time to head back to school, using these tips can help keep your back and neck feeling comfortable. Whether you’re preventing injury or re-injury, it’s important to know your body—if something is hurting you, make an appointment with Shephard Chiropractic Clinic in Portland, OR so we can get to the heart of the issue.

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