Back pain warning for schoolchildren

Could backpacks cause lasting damage?

According to a recent study carried out in a Spanish school, rucksacks full to the brim with bulky schoolbooks have been linked to a higher incidence of back problems.

The report, which has been published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, has shown that many of the pupils involved in the study were considered to have rucksacks that were “excessively loaded”.

The study itself took place at Hospital da Costa in Burela and also at the University Son Dureta in Palma and involved 1,403 school children.

According to the authors of the study, school children should not be carrying rucksacks that weigh more than 10% of their bodyweight, but upon taking official measurements it was found that almost two thirds of the pupil’s backpacks broke this rule.

The weight of the backpacks was then analysed for back pain. The results of this part of the study revealed that pupils with the heaviest bags were 50% more likely to have reported back pain than those who carried the lightest bags.

The affects were also more pronounced within female pupils, though experts have warned that neither boys or girls should be carrying excessively loaded bags – adding that this would not be something allowed for workers in employment.

If either yourself or a family member are suffering from back pain, visit your GP so that they are able to rule out any serious conditions as well as providing you with professional support and advice.

Many individuals who suffer from ongoing back pain often turn to alternative or complementary therapy for assistance. Massage for example, and acupuncture, are just two forms that many individuals may seek out for help with relieving back pain.

For more information about alternative and complementary therapies, please browse our Therapy Topics section.

View and comment on the original BBC News article.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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