Union County Chiropractic

Can backpacks really cause long-term problems?

More than 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Can these childhood injuries result in long-term back problems or chronic pain?

By the age of 14, seven percent of children report that back pain affects their everyday life. The lumbar (lower) spine is vulnerable to injury when children carry heavy loads. Such injuries may also lead to early degenerative changes in the lower spine.

And it’s not just the weight you carry in your backpack, but how you carry it.

Backpack pain: the time carrying the backpack—not the Weight—is likely causing that pain

A 2016 study on back pain caused by backpacks revealed two notable findings: Teen girls appear to experience more severe backpack-related pain compared to boys, and the time carrying the backpack—not the weight—is likely causing that pain.

The study covered 5,318 students aged 6 to 19 years. The researchers broke the student sample into three age groups: children, younger adolescents, and older adolescents.

Tips to help avoid backpack pain

Here are some tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household.
Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than five to 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.

Heavy Backpacks = Youth Back Pain

Back pain is pervasive among American adults, however it is not uncommon among children and teens. In a new and disturbing trend, young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

Chiropractic therapy for sacroiliac joint pain

Chiropractors may utilize various therapies for treating sacroiliac (SI) joint pain, with the goals of reducing the patient’s pain, improving function, and providing rehabilitation so the pain is less likely to return. Pain is caused by either too much or too little movement of the sacroiliac joint. As a result, muscles surrounding the joint may benefit from chiropractic techniques to either relax the muscles or to strengthen them.

Gentle chiropractic procedures for the sacroiliac joint

Some patients with low back or buttock pain resulting from sacroiliac joint dysfunction may favor a more gentle chiropractic treatment over the traditional spinal manipulation techniques. Less forceful spinal manipulation involves slower (low-velocity) techniques that allow the joint to remain within its passive range of motion. Gentle chiropractic techniques include:

Chiropractic adjustment for sacroiliac joint dysfunction

For patients with lower back or buttock pain that stems from the sacroiliac joint, a variety of chiropractic procedures can be applied and are often considered the first line of treatment. The chiropractic treatment goal for sacroiliac joint pain is to utilize a method that is best tolerated by the patient and yields the best outcome. Patients respond better to different approaches, so the chiropractor may adopt various manipulations to treat the patient’s sacroiliac joint pain.

More on Adult Scoliosis and Chiropractic Treatment

Some 15 percent of adults in the U.S. have some type of spine deformity, with lumbar scoliosis being the most common. Some adults have had scoliosis since adolescence; others develop the condition as adults. Many don’t experience symptoms, but a significant percentage will develop back pain, leg pain and even lose up to four inches of trunk height—measured from the waist upwards—due to the deformity.

For Adult Scoliosis, Chiropractic Treatment is a Viable Option

For years, spine surgeons have debated the best methods for treating scoliosis in adults. Spinal curvature often results in more back pain, leg pain and other symptoms for adults than teens because adults also can have degeneration in the discs between vertebrae, as well as spinal stenosis—a narrowing of the opening for the spinal nerves. Still, there hasn’t been good evidence regarding whether it’s better for adults with scoliosis to have corrective surgery or whether nonoperative treatment, such as physical therapy or nerve injections, is adequate.

More on Kids With Back Pain

A major contributor to kids’ back pain is the backpacks they use to tote their stuff, researchers in a new study said. Those who used one strap to carry their packs reported significantly more back pain than did those who used both straps. Those who used rolling backpacks reported back pain the most often. It wasn’t clear whether pain prompted their use of the rolling packs or whether the rolling packs contributed to their pain.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatic Symptoms

Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) regularly treat sciatica. Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates in the low back or buttock and travels into one or both legs. Pain is described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins-and-needles or similar to electric shocks. Other symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations.

More On Trends In The Use And Characteristics Of Chiropractic Services In The Department Of Veterans Affairs

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VA chiropractic clinics saw a greater percentage of female and younger patients compared with the national VA outpatient population. This demographic tendency is consistent with the cohort of veterans from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is known to have a high prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions.

Trends In The Use And Characteristics Of Chiropractic Services In The Department Of Veterans Affairs

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A recent study demonstrated that from fiscal year 2005 through 2015, the number of on-station VA chiropractic clinics increased from 27 to 65, and the number of veterans receiving care in these clinics increased from just over 4,000 to over 37,000. VA continues to assess and modify its delivery of chiropractic services to meet veteran demand.

Meditation, Other Complementary Approaches Help Patients Manage Chronic Pain

Complementary practices such as meditation and mindful breathing helped patients manage chronic pain and in some cases reduced the need for medication such as opioids, according to new a study.

Opioid misuse and addiction are major public health issues in the United States, and approximately 70 percent of individuals who use opioids on a long-term basis have a musculoskeletal disorder, such as low back pain or arthritis.

Chiropractic’s Conservative Approach Makes Economic Sense

Beyond the risks of overuse and addiction, prescription drugs that numb pain may also convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition such as back pain is less severe than it is, or that it has healed. That misunderstanding can lead to over-exertion and a delay in the healing process or even to permanent injury.

With the steep costs associated with prescription drugs, chiropractic’s conservative approach makes economic sense as well. A 2012 study found that spinal manipulation for neck and back pain was cost-effective, used either alone or combined with other therapies.

Study Examines The Course of Back Pain Over Time

Back pain is among the most frequently reported health problems in the world. New research examines patterns in back pain over time and identifies the patient characteristics and the extent of healthcare and medication use (including opioids) associated with different patterns.

The study included 12,782 participants who were interviewed every two years and provided data on factors including comorbidities, pain, disability, opioid and other medication use, and healthcare visits.

Conservative Treatment Options Supported By Research

Treatment for back pain has come a long way. It was once believed that taking pain medication and getting some rest were the best course of treatment for a bout of low-back pain, but nowadays research supports first trying drug-free, conservative options for pain management while remaining as active as possible during recuperation.

More Adults Using Complementary and Alternative Medicine For Back Pain

Use of practitioner-led complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), such as acupuncture, massage, osteopathy and chiropractic treatment, rose from 12 percent of the population in 2005 to 16 percent of the population in 2015, according to a new survey. The survey asked adults about their CAM use in the last 12 months. Out of a representative sample of 4,862 respondents aged 15 and over, 766 (16%) said they had seen a CAM practitioner.