It’s a weighty subject that gnaws at parents and carers ahead of the new school year: is my child crumbling under the strain of their ill-fitting school bag? And is the weight of their humble backpack causing them to develop bad posture?
If you’ve noticed your child’s posture is crooked, physiotherapy offers screening tools and useful techniques to address pain symptoms. Let’s explore.
The right backpack – and wearing it correctly – can help children avoid back injury
A heavy school bag is a common cause of back pain among school children. And frequently carrying an extra load for long periods of time can cause headaches, back and neck pain.
How often have you seen a child lean forward to compensate for the weight of their bag, or the force of the weight pulling them backwards? Carrying a fully loaded backpack can lead to troublesome musculoskeletal injuries and spinal misalignment.
The Australian Physiotherapy Association offers tips for selecting the right backpack.
Does your child’s posture look odd?
Postural dysfunction or distortion is one of the negative side effects of an overloaded school bag or one that is worn incorrectly. The heavy weight distorts the natural curves of the spine and causes muscle strain.
The muscle imbalance results in hunched or rounded shoulders (kyphosis) and can contribute to a worsening of spinal curvature (scoliosis).
If you’ve noticed your child’s posture is crooked, and nagging ‘sit up straight’ has little effect, it’s worth seeing a physiotherapist for a postural assessment.
It’s never too late to teach your child good posture
Helping your child develop good posture habits has many benefits: good health and well-being, improved concentration, reduced pain and positive self-esteem.
So if modern day habits have your child slouching in front of the TV, slumped forward over a gaming console or hunched over an iPad, don’t despair. It’s not too late to take charge and correct your posture – regardless of your age.
A physiotherapist can recommend lengthening and straightening exercises to improve your posture.
Physiotherapy can decrease your rotator cuff tear symptoms
There are reports that physiotherapy offers the same outcomes as surgery. Why? Because effective physiotherapy treatment can help balance and strengthen the four muscles around the shoulder that form the cuff.
Your physiotherapist may recommend taping the shoulder to support the tendons initially when starting a beneficial exercise regime, shockwave therapy, or prescribed at-home exercises to help get back your range of motion and shoulder function.
But be patient. It can take several weeks before you’re able to return to most activities.
Protect your child’s spine with physiotherapy
Our New Age Physiotherapy team are trained in performing postural correction assessments to determine factors contributing to poor posture.
We’ll establish a clear picture of your child’s posture and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to achieve a healthy spine. This may include bracing, manual therapy, spinal adjustments or posture setting exercises.
Our Kids Posture Correction program runs throughout January. Contact us to find out more.