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Back pack basics

Bag your books with style and safety in mind

(Photo by Jennifer Kaye)

As the school year begins, with it come concerns for child health. There are shots and screenings, allergy medications and eyeglass fittings. But one malady is carried home every day, on the backs of kids across the suburbs.

The American Occupational Therapy Association claims that more than 50 percent of students aged 9 to 20 have chronic back pain from over-packed or poorly-packed backpacks. What’s a concerned parent to do? Dr. Mike DeCubellis of Main Street Chiropractic in Downers Grove offers advice to reduce back stress and protect children’s growing bodies.

Q – There are a lot of styles of backpacks out there, from standard two strap on your back styles to satchel across the body styles to slings. What's the best for good back health?

A – “The hands down best is a rolling back that can be pulled. I know this is not very popular, but this hands down puts the least stress on your body. While it may not look the best, if you have to wear a backpack its best to wear it in front. This allows you to keep your proper cervical (neck) curve. This does put more stress on your lower back, but these muscles are stronger, discs are bigger, and vertebrae are bigger and made to carry more load then your neck.

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