It’s never too early or too late to start paying attention to how you (or your child) wear a backpack.

It’s easy to grab your bag, sling it over one shoulder, and head out the door. The problem is wearing a backpack that hasn’t been properly fitted (or just wearing it the wrong way) can lead to pain and other issues down the road.

When it comes to backpacks, one size doesn’t fit all. It’s time to start paying attention. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

What to Look For

  • A well fitted backpack should have two wide, padded shoulder straps and a cushioned back.
  • The top of the backpack should sit no higher than your shoulders
  • The bottom should sit no lower than your hip bone.
  • Weight should rest evenly between the shoulder and hips.
  • There should be space between your back and your pack.
  • If your pack has a waist strap it should be worn to take some stress off the shoulders and back.

What to Avoid

  • Don’t wear your backpack over a single shoulder.
  • Avoid swinging your pack over your shoulder or leaning over without bending your knees to put it on.
  • Do not wear your backpack with a rounded or arched back.

Can Backpacks Cause Back Problems?

Wearing a backpack that is ill-fitting or too heavy can cause a variety of issues including:

I’m Already in Pain, What Should I Do?

Remember: Prevention is key.

If you (or your child) are experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling we suggest booking an appointment to come see us.

Our physiotherapists and chiropractors are some of the best in the business. We’ll show you how to perform postural stabilization exercises and use hands-on manipulations to reduce and eliminate pain.

A backpack should lighten your load, not add to it.  Connect with our rehab coordinator for a free consultation.