Backpack Misuse Leads to Chronic Back Pain, Doctors of Chiropractic Say

Posted on September 3, 2012. Filed under: Chiropractic, Fitness, Massage, Neck, Specials | Tags: , , , , , , |

Back pain is pervasive among American adults, but a new and disturbing trend is emerging. 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). In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that backpack-related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room in 2001 alone.

“In my own practice, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of young children who are complaining about back, neck and shoulder pain,” said Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the ACA’s Council on Occupational Health. “The first question I ask these patients is, ‘Do you carry a backpack to school?’ Almost always, the answer is ‘yes.'”

This new back pain trend among youngsters isn’t surprising when you consider the disproportionate amounts of weight they carry in their backpacks – often slung over just one shoulder. According to Dr. Bautch, a recent study conducted in Italy found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman. Of those children carrying heavy backpacks to school, 60 percent had experienced back pain as a result.

According to Dr. Bautch, preliminary results of studies being conducted in France show that the longer a child wears a backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself. “The question that needs to be addressed next is, ‘Does it ever return to normal?'” Dr. Bautch added.

The results of these types of studies are especially important as more and more school districts – many of them in urban areas – remove lockers from the premises, forcing students to carry their books with them all day long.

The problem has become so widespread, in fact, that the California State Assembly passed legislation that would force school districts to develop ways of reducing the weight of students’ backpacks. Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey as well. The ACA believes that limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight and urging the use of ergonomically correct backpacks are possible solutions.

What Can You Do?
The ACA offers the following 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 5 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.
  • A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
  • Although the use of rollerpacks – or backpacks on wheels – has become popular in recent years, the ACA is now recommending that they be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…
If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call your doctor of chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages and will use a gentler type of treatment for children. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.

Bison Chili in a Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups dry red kidney beans* (soaked overnight in 2 quarts of water)
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onion (2 medium)
  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 1 can diced plum tomatoes (28 ounce-796 ml. size)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (23 ounce-680 ml. size)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (5.5 ounce-156 ml. size)
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  • Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Put vegetable oil in large saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat; add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in set aside spices, stir to combine with onions. Let sizzle for a minute or two, or until the aroma from cooking spices becomes quite noticeable.
  • Immediately add the ground bison. Cook stirring occasionally until the meat has completely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Transfer saucepan contents to the crock pot. Drain the kidney beans.
  • Add kidney beans to the crock pot along with the plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Sprinkle in salt. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Cover and set on high heat.

* For light red kidney beans, cook the chili a minimum of 8 1/2 hours; for dark red kidney beans no less than 10 hours is required.

  • Reheats, and freezes well.

 

SEPTEMBER SPECIAL:

Carrollton-Farmers Branch & Lewisville ISD employees receive a FREE 30-minute Massage.

Other various Massage Packages are available.

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Back Pain…Not a Laughing Matter

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Chiro, Massage | Tags: , , , , , , , |

“Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God’s goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new – created upon your account; and under the sense of so great a blessing.” …William Law

Back Pain Facts & Statistics
Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.

A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain, and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.

What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.
In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how chiropractic manipulation may help you, contact our office.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
  • Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
  • Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
  • Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

Special Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Mayonnaise: 2 egg yolks (room temperature), 1 clove garlic (pressed), 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 pinch salt, pepper (to taste), 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. To make the mayonnaise, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or hand blender. Slowly blend in the oil, one tablespoon at a time while mixing constantly. Continue to add oil until the consistency is a little thicker than regular mayonnaise. Pierce the garlic clove, and stir it around in the mixture until it releases its juice. Remove the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon at a time. Go slow, this will thin the mayonnaise a bit.
2. Place the eggs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and cool. Peel off the shells, and cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks, and place them into a medium bowl. Place the egg whites on a serving plate.
3. To the yolks, add shallot, salmon, 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix until well blended. If the mixture seems dry, stir in more mayonnaise. Spoon into the egg white halves and chill or serve.

For further information on health, contact Ash Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic at 972-317-0680

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