Lighten the Load And Get Moving: Reduce Your Child's Back Pain with These Tips

Posted on: 8 June 2015


If your child has back pain, the last thing thing you want is for the pain become so excessive that he or she needs an operation from an orthopedic surgeon. Luckily, you can avoid this scenario by taking steps to reduce your child's back pain. Check out these back-friendly tips:

1. Choose a quality backpack

The backpack your child uses impacts how their homework sits on their back. Ideally, according to most orthopedic surgeons and back pain experts, you want a backpack with padded shoulder straps and possibly a belt around the waist that can transfer the weight to the legs of the backpack.

If possible, consider avoiding backpacks altogether and having your child use a wheeled suitcase for their school books.  

2. Lighten the load

Talk with your child's school about alternatives to your child having to carry heavy books between home and school, such as making digital copies of textbooks available.

Talk with the teachers about assigning less homework, make sure the students have enough time between classes to stop at their lockers (so they are not always carrying books), or propose a scenario where students have duplicate sets of books: one for home and one for school.

3. Check posture

Many orthopedic injuries are not related to carrying heavy loads at all; rather, they are tied to video games. If your child plays a lot of video games, all of that sitting (combined with all of the sitting he or she does in school) can be hard on the body.

Encourage your child to take breaks and do back strengthening exercises like yoga, and consider buying your child an ergonomic gaming chair which is healthier for the back than the couch is.

4. Encourage movement

Too much sitting wrecks havoc on the back, but it can also slow the metabolism and cause your child to gain weight. Excess weight puts extra strain on the back. Encourage your child to move.

Don't force your child to exercise, but just find active things he or she likes to do (hiking, BMX riding, walking through the zoo) so that being active becomes part of regular life.

Also, consider putting a mini trampoline next to the screens so your child can watch and jump and don't forget to advocate for more recess at school as well.

If you are still worried about back pain and the long-term effects it could have on your child, talk with an orthopedic surgeon, such as those found at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, about other ideas for reducing back pain and protecting your child's back.