Are you aware that how you wear your backpack can result in back pain and discomfort? Using your backpack wrongly can make your life uncomfortable. Dr. Michael Wilson, a board-certified chiropractor at Kosak Chiropractic in Fairfield, CA, has helped many people suffering from back pain from improper backpack usage. Here are some of the reasons you should use your backpack correctly.
Wearing a heavy backpack incorrectly can lead to discomfort. And if you wear it for an extended period, you will likely be in pain after a couple of hours. If the backpack is for work, hiking, or school, it should not weigh more than 10% of your weight. So, let's say you weigh 150 pounds, your backpack should weigh 15 pounds. Even if you are running, you will still be comfortable as long the backpack has been positioned well.
If it is for occasional use, like an overnight hike, then the backpack should weigh about 20% of your weight. With proper hiking boots and the help of trekking poles, you will have proper support and stability to carry the bag. For people who are not used to carrying backpacks, packing heavy items at once will lead to discomfort. Dr. Wilson suggests increasing your weight load gradually as you train your muscles to adjust to the extra weight.
Another reason to use your backpack well is to avoid injuries. Carrying excessive weight on your back can lead to wear and tear of the muscles, joints, and ligaments across your back and hips. These parts have to overwork to compensate for the excess weight. But because they cannot sustain that extra weight for long, they will start degenerating, leading to stiffness, pain, and loss of range of motion. You can avoid this by wearing a lighter backpack. Pack only items that are necessary, especially if you use the bag daily. Also, ensure the straps are well-padded and wide and wear them both. This will help distribute weight evenly across your back.
Maintain a Good Posture
Using your backpack correctly will help you maintain a good posture. Even if your backpack is simply for books, wearing it over one shoulder can cause you to lean on one side, trying to support that extra weight. This will lead to pain and straining around your shoulders, neck, and back.
It is usually the small habits we practice daily that affect our health without knowing. Wearing your backpack properly will help you alleviate pain and maintain a good posture.
If you are suffering from pain caused by improper backpack usage, contact Kosak Chiropractic at (707) 426-1111. Dr. Michael Wilson, your trusted chiropractor in Fairfield, CA, will examine the injury and tailor a treatment plan for you.