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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, August 8, 2016

Backpacks and Female Back Pain

A recent study published in The Spine Journal reveals that adolescent girls have the highest risk of suffering from back pain due to schoolbags/backpacks.

The Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation (Italy) conducted a study involving 5,318 students aged 6 to 19 years. The goal was to examine back pain as it related to schoolbag use. The study was administered via in-person questionnaires, and findings include:
  • More than 60 percent of participants reported pain
  • Pain increased significantly from children to adolescents despite a decrease in bag load
  • More frequent and severe pain was noted by girls than boys
  • Adolescent girls proved to be at the greatest risk of suffering from intense pain
  • Schoolbag load scarcely dictated back pain, but the amount of time carrying a bag was very influential
Results suggest that other factors (anatomical or physiological) might impact the difference in pain perception between males and females.

This news comes just in time for back-to-school shopping, and serves as a good reminder, for both boys and girls, when purchasing a new backpack. A few features to look for are:
  • Lightweight fabric such as canvas
  • Two wide, padded, and adjustable shoulder straps
  • A padded back to protect from things poking through from inside
  • Multiple compartments to help distribute and balance the weight of objects
(Courtesy of Physician's Briefing)

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