New England Sinai Physical Therapy Helps Get You Backpacking Back to School
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
As summer comes to a close and back to school sales are in full swing,
new backpacks will likely be part of your back-to-school purchases. A
child’s safety and health are essential and ensuring the proper fit and
packing of a backpack is important.
For optimal backpack fit, think of these points:
Two padded shoulder straps are necessary to maintain equal and
balanced pressure through the shoulders and back.
Two inch wide straps better support the backpack load through
A hip belt over the hips supports 80-90% of the load and offers
relief from pressure on shoulders.
Padded back support will protect the back from objects poking
through the backpack.
Position of the backpack should be slightly below the shoulders
and should extend no greater than 4” below the waist, not hips!
A chest or sternum strap securely holds shoulder straps and
backpack in place; also assisting with posture.
Ensure backpack continues to allow easy and non-restricting
movements with all straps in place.
In packing a backpack:
Place larger and heavier items against the back support to be
closest to the child’s body.
If multiple compartments are present, distribute the lighter
items to better use space available.
Make sure items are flat and no sharp objects like pencils or
pens are horizontal. These objects have the potential to poke
through the backpack lining causing injury.
To maintain strength and flexibility, consider the following exercises:
Shoulder rolls: Bring shoulders up towards ears, back, and down.
Chest doorway stretch: Stand in doorway with right and left
forearm against frame and fingers pointed towards ceiling, step
through the doorway with 1 leg until a stretch is felt across
the chest. Hold x 30 seconds.
Shoulder blade squeeze: Squeeze shoulder blades together without
elevating shoulders, hold for 2-3 seconds and then slowly relax
to starting position. Repeat x10.
Back extension stretch: Place hands on your low back, gently
extend backwards. Hold x 15 seconds. Repeat 2-3x.
Neck sidebending stretch: Hold your upper body still, tip one
ear to your shoulder as if you are holding a telephone between
your ear and shoulder. Hold x 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite
If back, shoulder or neck pain is limiting your carrying ability, call
New England Sinai Physical Therapy in Stoughton, MA.
To schedule an appointment, please call us at 781-297-1383.
Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/NewEnglandSinaiHospitalPhysicalTherapySportsRehab.
Alissa O’Leary, DPT, is an employee at New England Sinai Hospital.