The gentle chiropractor

Is Your Child’s Backpack Too Heavy?

BACKPACK SAFETY

The amount of heavy books and gear children carry to school is growing every year. It seems our kids are carrying more and more weight in their backpack, as they set off for the school day with books, gym clothes, and gear for sports and extracurricular activities.

A 2012 study by physical therapy students at the Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences examined the effects of various backpack loads on elementary schoolchildren’s posture and postural compensations as demonstrated by a change in forward head position. Digital photographs were taken of each subject standing without a backpack, and then with the loaded backpack before and after walking 6 minutes at free walking speed. This was repeated over three consecutive weeks using backpacks containing randomly assigned weights of 10%, 15%, or 20% body weight of each respective subject. The craniovertebral angle was measured using digitizing software, recorded and analyzed.

The subjects demonstrated immediate and statistically significant changes in craniovertebral angle, indicating increased forward head positions upon donning the backpacks containing 15% and 20% body weight. Following the walking of 6 minutes, the CVA demonstrated further statistically significant changes for all backpack loads indicating increased forward head postures. For the 15 & 20% of body weight conditions, more than 50% of the subjects reported discomfort after walking, with the neck as the primary location of reported pain.

The study concludes that primary schoolchildren should carry no more than 10% of their body weight in their backpacks. For a 60 lb elementary school student, that is a mere 6 lbs.

Are you wondering if your child’s backpack is keeping your child’s spine safe while carrying all that weight? A properly fitted backpack can save your child’s back from undue strain and future posture problems.

Arthritis

Mobilizing the Body Against Arthritis

 

Spinal Pathophysiology refers to the osteoarthritic degenerative changes that occur in a spine that has lost its normal range of motion. The journal Clinical Biomechanics reported as far back as 1987 (issue 2:223-229) that joint immobility, such as that which occurs in the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, can lead to permanent damage in as little as two weeks.

According to T. Videman, author of the study, “The evidence in this review shows that immobilizing healthy joints in experimental animals can lead inexorably to osteoarthritis. With respect to [human] patients, it can be postulated that immobilization, for whatever cause, will initiate a pathogenic [disease producing] chain of musculo-skeletal degenerative changes.”

And the joints don’t have to be stuck for a single long period, either. A joint immobilized one day a week for 14 weeks shows the same amount of damage as one immobilized for 14 days in a row. The damage accumulates over all the time the joint was immobilized.

How does this relate to Chiropractic? When a spinal subluxation occurs, the joints become stuck or immobile, unable to move in their normal range of motion and the degenerative process known as osteoarthritis begins. According to Videman, if this immobility is not corrected within two weeks, the osteoarthritis becomes permanent. These permanent changes can’t be reversed but they can be kept from getting worse by restoring the mobility to the stuck joint. This is one reason why a lifetime of Chiropractic Wellness Care is so important.

If permanent spinal damage can occur within two weeks of a vertebra subluxating, when do you want to get it adjusted? As soon as possible! How do you know if you have a subluxation? Visit your chiropractor.

Something to think about:
Why do you need continued chiropractic care?
Why do you need to bring in your family for care today?
Why do infants and children need regular 1x1month care?
Why should you never go more than 4 weeks without an adjustment? Why should you share this information with other people?

X-rays don’t lie – doing nothing will guarantee you further decay!

Chiropractic Care for Sports Injuries

SPORTS INJURIES

Whether you or your child is an aspiring Tiger Woods or a backyard Jordan, participating in sports is a great way to stay in shape, meet new friends or learn valuable skills such as teamwork. Participation in sports is not without risk. Children are especially at risk.

 

Shoe Savvy

Reduce your child’s risk of injury by investing in quality athletic shoes prior to each season. Look for sneakers with adequate cushioning and arch support. Some children also benefit from custom-made inserts. Other young athletes require braces or taping. (Ask your chiropractor for specific recommendations geared to your child’s unique foot type.)

Many of the footwear styles popular with today’s youths provide little protection. Lack of cushioning increases the risk of impact-related injuries such as stress fracture and shin splints. Flimsy arch support allows the foot to roll inward, in turn disrupting the alignment of the leg, knee and hips. Skewed posture in the lower limbs results in a disproportionate allocation of force on joints during walking or running – spurring injury. Shoes with “air cell” soles also fail to properly distribute pressure. Because the hips are connected to the spine, inadequate footwear may even spawn vertebral subluxations and back pain.

Take Safety Seriously

Lack of safety equipment and faulty equipment are major causes of childhood sports’ injuries. While most coaches insist on using appropriate equipment during organized practices, many youngsters fail to use such safe guards when practicing on their own.

Insist that your children use safety gear while practicing. To ensure this occurs, make your wishes known to the respective coaches and your children.

Stretching is another good “follow my example” suggestion for parents. Stretching – before and after exercise – is crucial for anyone wishing to avoid a sports-related injury. 

Training Time

To keep your children injury-free during the sports’ season, keep them active throughout the off-season. Just like adults, a dramatic increase in children’s workout intensity will spur muscle strain. Unfortunately, the drastic cutbacks in many schools’ physical education curriculum has resulted in poor-quality programs or no programs at all. So, keep your children active in the "off season". Or, make a point to exercise with your children several days a week. Maintain your youngsters’ interest by scheduling a variety of activities with other families, such as hikes, bike rides and softball games.

 

 

 

Jogging and Walking for Health

A commitment to physical exercise is an important step in maintaining personal health. However, due to today’s hectic lifestyles, many patients have difficulty squeezing a fitness program into their schedules. Walking a jogging are great ways to fitness into a busy schedule.

Why are jogging and walking ideal for people on.the go? First, these sports require no equipment (apart from a good pair of sneakers). And, because they may be done almost anywhere at anytime, these activities fit into even the most saturated of schedules. And here’s another bonus: unlike gym memberships and exercise classes, jogging and running don’t cost a cent. So, whether you’re a jet-setting executive or a carpool-juggling parent, jogging or running may be the workout solution you’ve been searching for.

 

 

Working Out and Sports: Playing it Safe

Daily stress, aerobic activities that push the body to its outer limits, and lifting weights put abnormal amounts of stress on bones, muscles and joints. Full speed collisions, falls to the ground, and head and limbs being rammed, pulled and twisted beyond their normal ranges. Even seemingly normal, easy, or moderate exercise. What are some of the damaging effects of this punishment, how likely are you to develop problems or be seriously injured, and how can you be sure you are performing at your optimum?

The development, growth and function of our bodies is directed and controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Luckily the brain is in a vault of bone. However, although the spinal cord and spinal nerves are also protected by the bones of the spinal column, these bones are freely moveable and can become damaged or misaligned easily. This creates pressure and interference to the spinal cord and nerves that will result in obscured growth, improper development, and poorer function.

When the muscles and joints are not working properly, they will become less flexible, weaker and more likely to become injured or deteriorate into arthritic or degenerative conditions. This pressure and interference causes decreased nerve supply to the tissues, organs, and systems of the body. This leads to impaired body functions, a loss of proper alertness, a lack of concentration and lowered energy. These problems will slow down results in your exercise routine, cause a poorer performance in sports, the classroom, or at work. A body functioning below normal capacity will have a lower resistance to infection or illness.

Chiropractors analyze the spine for the detection and correction of spinal misalignment called vertebral subluxation. A spine out of its proper alignment is much more prone to serious damage. Chiropractic adjustments align the spine and remove nerve interference, thus restoring proper health and optimum function. This makes you freer from illness, safer from injury, and allows you to perform at your best without the use of drugs or surgery. This is why the top professional and Olympic athletes get adjusted, and why millions of parents seek chiropractic for themselves and their families each year as a safer, natural form of health care.