As school gets back in swing this month, it’s a good time to evaluate the healthy habits we can make a part of our routine this school year. Overall good health and good posture are made with small habits over long periods of time. Since the school year takes up most of the year, it’s a great time to make a positive effort towards health!
Head forward posture is an epidemic in our culture, and it’s getting worse for kids and teens every day. It can be caused by misaligned bones in the neck, a chronic poor posture, or both. Tablets, smart phones and even reading with poor posture can cause the head to be stuck in a forward position. This is potentially very negative because it causes back muscles to overwork in the wrong places and the shoulders to round. It can also cause misalignments that don’t allow the body to function as it should. Good posture is important throughout life, but potentially even more important in childhood and teenage years. The phrase, “as the twig is bent, so grows the tree” applies and is a big reason that we want children to have the healthiest spines and posture possible. One option to decrease “text neck” is to buy a book stand to prop tablets and books up, helping decrease the chronic forward head posture that often comes with reading and studying.
Did you know that a child’s backpack should weigh less than 15% of their weight? A backpack that weighs more than 15% of a child’s weight can cause excess strain on their spine and cause spine issues. Headaches, shoulder hunching, neck pain, back pain and gait issues can all be caused by an improperly fitted backpack, or one with too much weight. Here are some tips to make sure the backpack isn’t hurting your child:
. Choose a backpack with thick, padded straps.
Wear both shoulder straps.
. Make sure the backpack doesn’t hang more than 4 inches below the waist. If it hangs too low, it increases forward head and body lean.
. Pack the heaviest items towards the back. Keeping them closer to the body is easier on the spine.
. If the backpack is heavy, make frequent locker stops between classes.
. Check for postural issues with the backpack on: Forward head, forward lean, rounded shoulders, one tilted shoulder or tilted hip is a sign of a spinal imbalance.
If you notice a postural issue with (or without) your child’s backpack, a chiropractor can help you evaluate and improve posture.
Overall Health During the Busy School Year
When our body gets overwhelmed with stressors (like poor posture), it makes it harder for us to adapt to our surroundings and thrive in our environment. The goal of chiropractic care for any age is to help reconnect the body so it can adapt to the challenges we will all face in our lives. Emotional stress, physical traumas and toxins all cause what we call subluxations (or misalignments).
Sometimes it’s easy to identify what could be decreasing our ability to thrive, and sometimes it’s not so easy. Family and wellness chiropractors have the tools to help your whole family reach their best health potential.
Full Life Chiropractic has family and pediatric chiropractors, as well as massage therapy, acupuncture and functional medicine to help your family have excellent health, naturally.
Book A Back-To-School Physical for your children at Full Life Chiropractic for just $29. Full physical exam, scoliosis assessment and athletic evaluation for children getting back into sports, clubs, and school activities. Call 813-428-5648 for more information.