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Chiropractors try to prevent back injuries to children with heavy bookbags.

Posted Aug 19 2009 6:17pm

This is the time of year when I see children in my Chiropractic office with back injuries due to their very heavy book bags. It’s time now to focus on a spinal crisis in the making. Dentists used fluoride as a means to prevent future cavities and whether the theory and health benefits were sound, they placed their profession and prevention in the same sentence. Furthermore they created an awareness for family care, especially children. In one promotion they were eliminating their cavity eradication business for the sake of renewed interest in dental care and dentists. Seems, it didn’t hurt their business in the short or long run.

As a Chiropractor, I have to be vocal and in the forefront of our communities in regards to the school book bag crisis and the number of back injuries our children experience. Yes, this is old news, but rather than parents, teachers and book publishers taking heed of the message, the bags get bigger, some schools prohibit bags with wheels and the unrelenting wear and tear of the young spine does not abate. Research is easy to find with any search engine while data clearly shows that a crisis looms each school year and more awareness needs to be applied. So as a proactive healthcare provider and someone who genuinely cares about this community, I offer myself to speak at PTA meetings, social gatherings or church programs to discuss this crisis and hopefully evaluate and teach parents and kids to be spine conscious and how continued spinal and physical stress not only invites pain but al so visceral dysfunction.

If you have equity in the stock market, you are acutely aware of the stress to your portfolio. The lighthearted amongst us have jumped ship and bailed out for cash. Others weather the storm and hope that sooner than later clearer skies will bring their shares into the light again. But, there are others that make lemonade from lemons and see a downturn as a buying opportunity and tweak their portfolio for the long haul and make wise investment choices. Which one are you? Will you wait until your children complain of back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain etc to address this issue or will you learn what can be done now?

This is actually an effort to prevent future chiropractic patients. Watching kids run to school buses flopping books this way and that way in overstocked book bags as if they were on their way in a special forces covert military mission, is a sight to see. If I were able to record this and play it back in slow motion, as many auto crash videos reveal the gross overstretching of the neck during a whiplash injury, to a PTA or other group of concerned parents and educators, and most importantly to my patients, the oohs and ahhs will be deafening. It would show clearly the push and pulls on delicate cervical and thoracic spines and the pounding on the lumbars while they dashed to their destinations. Worse yet is the one sided bags that drag down the brachial plexus causing brachial palsy a diagnostic marker pediatricians are finding more readily and emergency room visits that are becoming more common due to book bag distress. Don’t believe me, fine, do your own research and search under book bag injuries and other like phrases and tell me there is no crisis.

As I said last week, bring in your child and their book bag and let me evaluate them. Lets stop problems before they begin.

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