Heavy Load, Bad Back

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN- Backpack and locker policies vary across West Texas but you can help lighten your child's load no matter where they go to school.
"Stressing the importance of wearing them properly and wearing the straps equally on both shoulders is the most important thing," Dr. John Riggs of Alternative Chiropractic, said.

Doctor John Riggs says he finds some young patients who have as much tension in their backs as adults, and it can cause headaches now and problems later on.

Eighth grader Kelsey Tillery not only carry's around a backpack, she also carries a Viola, in a new case her mother says at least helps alleviate some of her back pain.

"The backpack is heavy because of all her books and she does complain about all that," Leslie Tillery said, "but when they need their books, they need their books."

Dr. Riggs says backpacks designed with air pockets built into the straps can help children who have back pain. He says if you can't afford it you can sew or glue a piece of foam inside your child's backpack straps and it will also do the trick.

Poor posture, usually related to weak core muscles can also cause back pain in kids and adults alike. Dr. Riggs says you can test your core strength by standing on one leg for sixty seconds. If you or your child have trouble standing on one leg he recommends trying to strengthen those core muscles.