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Healthy Living

Nutrition Tips

A healthy diet should include food from each of the following categories: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk products, meat and beans, and fats and oils.

Grains: Half your grain intake should be whole grains. Americans usually consume enough grains in their diet, but not enough whole grains. Look for the word “whole” before the grain name on the list food label list of ingredients.  A good rule of thumb is to eat at least 3 ounces of whole grain bread, cereal, crackers, rice or pasta each day.

Vegetables: Vary your vegetable intake each day.  Be careful to include a lot of dark green and orange vegetables and dried beans and peas in your diet.  The amount of vegetables you need to eat depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. Generally, young children (up to age 8) should consume between 1- 1 ½ cups of vegetables each day; children 9-13 need 2 – 2 ½ cups; adolescents 14-18 years need approximately 2 ½ to 3 cups.  Adults need 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables each day, but lightly less for older, less active adults.

Fruits: Vary your fruit intake.  You can include fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruit, but go easy on processed fruit juices that often include sugar (100% juice is OK).  Again, the amount of fruits your body needs depends upon your age and activity level.  Generally children need between 1 and 1 ½ cups of fruit each day, and adolescents and adults need about 1 ½ to 2 cups.

Milk Products: The milk group (milk, cheese, yogurts, and milk-based desserts like pudding and ice cream) provides us with needed calcium, but we should always choose low-fat or fat free products.  Young children below age 8 need at least 2 cups of milk products each day; older children and adults need 3 cups. If you can’t drink milk, make sure to substitute lactose free or calcium substitutes in your diet.

Meat and Beans: Americans need to remember the mantra “Go lean on protein.”  Choose low fat or lean meats and poultry, and avoid frying.  Instead broil, bake, or grill your meats. Vary your choices from this group, using more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.  Young children need between 2 and 4 ounces each day, while older children and adults need between 5 and 6 ounces.   The leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (round eye, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts. The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham.  Choose extra lean ground beef, buying packages marked at least “90% lean.” Remove skin on chicken and turkey before cooking, and trim away all of the visible fat from meats and poultry before cooking. Drain fat after cooking, avoid breading (which soaks up fats during cooking) and high fat gravies or sauces.

Fats and Oils:  :  Try to get most of your fat sources from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils and limit solid fats like butter, margarine, shortening, and lard. All fats and oils are a mixture of saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. Oils contain more monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats. Solid fats, on the other hand, contain more saturated fats and/or trans fats than oils. Saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol tend to raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn increases the risk for heart disease. To lower risk for heart disease, cut back on foods containing saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.  Limit your total oil and fat intake.  New U.S. government guidelines recommend 3-4 teaspoons of fat for children under 8 years and 5-6 teaspoons a day for older children, adolescents, and adults.



Most people seek chiropractic care because they are having some form of musculoskeletal pain–pain that is originating from muscles, connective tissue, or joints. It is often easy to evaluate and discover the problem that is causing the immediate pain. If there’s been an acute injury, treatment is often quick and effective so that, when healed, no additional treatment is needed.

However, some issues, most often the ones causing chronic, low-grade pain, are a sign that the body is being subjected to a small but constant trauma to muscles, connective tissue and joints. This trauma is most commonly due to poor posture. Many people develop bad posture habits from the teenage years and never make the effort to correct them. Our jobs as adults often then contribute to making the problem worse. Our bodies were not meant to be stationary, seated in strange positions, or leaning over a computer for hours at a time. The muscles begin to get achy and irritated, and your body responds by trying to “fix” the muscle, laying down scar tissue (fibrous tissue), which in turn makes the muscle tighter and achier. Most people don’t realize that these postural problems play a very big role in back pain, neck pain, headaches and other repetitive stress conditions. Oftentimes, it is necessary to deal with the underlying postural issues that are creating the problem in order to effectively treat the patient’s area of complaint.

Postural habits take a long time to break and require a significant amount of work, by the chiropractor, therapist and the patient. We can help moving stuck joints through chiropractic manipulation, stretching tight muscles using myofascial release treatment and massage therapy and helping to develop a self directed program of stretching and strengthening techniques to decrease muscle tightness and improve postural awareness. An ergonomic assessment of office space, sleeping posture or recreational stresses that contribute to incorrect posture may also be performed. We will make suggestions on how to modify workspace to better suit an ideal postural model, thereby reducing the strain to the body. (For example, if a person is constantly cradling a phone between their head and shoulders, a suggestion will be made to instead wear a head set phone, to reduce the strain on the neck musculature).

Take this simple quiz:

  1. Do you often have tension headaches, burning pain between your shoulder blades or an achy low back?
  2. Does your head ever feel heavy after doing desk work?
  3. Do you have a job requiring long hours of sitting or repetitive work?
  4. Do you carry a heavy purse, bag or child on only one side?
  5. Do you have pain after working but not as much on weekends?
  6. Does stress tend to make your pain or headaches worse?
  7. Has anyone ever told you that you slouch?
  8. Have you ever been told you have a sway back or a curve in your spine?
  9. Do you take pain relieving medications daily or almost daily?

10.  Are you aware that you have bad posture but don’t know how to fix it?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions could indicate that you have a postural problem as the underlying cause for your condition.

Proper posture not only helps to decrease chronic pain, but it has the added benefit of increasing self confidence, poise and beauty. Clothes hang better and look more elegant. Energy levels may increase as good posture allows your ribs to expand to let more air into your lungs.

The first step to good posture is awareness. Try these suggestions:

  • Avoid slouching at work – Bring your keyboard closer to you. Get a chair with no back or sit on an exercise ball to maintain a low back curve.
  • Carry heavy purses/backpacks on both shoulders or crossed over your body – This will decrease the muscle imbalance and strain on your shoulders.
  • Study or read with your book propped up in front of you – Many headaches can be caused by a bent forward position of the neck causing the neck muscles to tire.
  • Keep your shoulder blades down and back – This will allow your ribcage to properly expand, and reduce upper back tension.

These tips will help, though they are an initial step in postural remodeling. Training to stretch and strengthen the proper muscles is essential, and professional expertise may be needed to help you rebalance your body.

Often, postural problems have been developing since adolescence. A long-term problem will never have a quick fix, so remember, have patience. Expect it to take approximately 3 to 4 months for significant results in postural improvements. You are trying to break long-term habits.

Many people find that visiting a chiropractor who focuses on postural remodeling is the most effective and fastest way to improve posture and begin to live a healthier lifestyle.

Proper posture while sitting: 

When sitting at work or anywhere for a prolonged period of time, position your lower back against the backrest of the chair to obtain the greatest amount of support for your spine. Avoid leaning your backrest too far backwards. Be sure your chair does not sag and adjust the height of the chair so that your knees are flexed at a 90 degree angle when your feet are flat on the floor. Avoid low or deep seats, as they can be difficult to get out of, putting increased pressure on the lower back, and distorting the normal spinal curves. Then arrange your computer monitor so that the first reading line at the top is at eye level and monitor is directly ahead of you.

Proper posture while standing:

When standing, your head, shoulders, and hips should all be in a vertical line, one above the other. Your knees should be slightly bent and your feet should be shoulder width apart or more. Tightening the stomach muscles slightly will help to take the pressure off the lower back. If you are standing for a long period of time, while cooking in the kitchen or at a workstation, for example, use a foot rest.


To some, the word “exercise” makes them tired just thinking about it. They think gym, sweat, labored breathing, aching muscles and the time requirement. The unmistakable fact is, however, exercise is a vital component to your overall health.

Exercise has so many benefits

  • Decreases stress level
  • Increases productivity
  • Helps combat insomnia
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Decreases body fat
  • Increases basal metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories at rest)
  • Balances hormones

But where so you start??

Start by thinking about what you like to do. Do you like to walk, cycle, run, swim, and dance, do yoga, Tae Bo, Pilates, or martial arts? There are so many activities that are fun and will help your fitness level. Find one or more you like and get moving!!

What to include in your program

A well-rounded fitness program includes these components:

  • Cardio/aerobic conditioning
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Rest

The fitness experts are now saying to split your routine into 50% cardio and 50% resistance training with a few minutes warming up with light cardio then gentle stretching and ending your workout with a longer stretching period (10 to 15 minutes).

The component that few seem to realize is so important is rest. When you challenge yourself through exercise, you need time for your body to recover and adapt to the challenge by becoming stronger and more efficient at utilizing oxygen. Depending on how hard you work, you will need a minimum of a day’s rest. Ignoring your body’s need for rest, repair and adaption will result in injuries.


It doesn’t take long to see the results of your efforts. Muscles get leaner, body fat drops; you’re able to walk longer and faster. All this within a few weeks of regular workouts. The key is to get started and keep going!



Sleep is just as important as good nutrition, exercise and spinal health in order for you to look and feel your best. Insufficient sleep may leave you feeling depressed and unfocused and over the long term will take a huge toll on your immune system leaving you less able to fight off illnesses.

How much sleep is enough? Most people need about 8 hours of sleep each night, though some need more or less. If you feel tired during the day, then you probably need more sleep.

If you are having trouble getting enough sleep here are some tips that may help:

  • Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, even on weekends. Your body will adjust and benefit from a consistent sleep schedule
  • Don’t watch TV, eat or hold long conversations in your bed. The bed should be a place set aside for sleeping so that when you lie down your mind will know it is time to rest
  • Don’t nap longer than 20 minutes during the day
  • Don’t drink or eat after 8:00 p.m. This will reduce the need to get up during the night to use the bathroom or be awakened by a drop in blood sugar
  • If your environment is noisy try using ear plugs to muffle sounds that might wake you
  • Dim the lights during the hour before bed in order to calm the mind. Bright lights like television or computers signal the mind to stay in waking mode
  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine before bed
  • Don’t exercise vigorously close to bedtime


Positive Attitude

When we hear about a positive mental attitude being one of the five elements of good health our tendency may be to relegate it to a position of lower importance than that of nutrition, exercise or spinal health. It has a somewhat intangible quality but be assured that a positive mental attitude measurably improves immune function.

Developing a positive mental attitude can be more profoundly difficult than building muscles through weight training or changing your nutritional habits from eating junk food to making healthy choices. Like all worthwhile things it takes ongoing work and diligence but the benefits are numerous. Here are just a couple of hints that may help you begin this process in your life:

Attitude is a Choice

How you feel is a decision that you make each day. If you have tended toward negativity in the past try adopting one or more of these things in your life:

  • Take time to prepare for the day – Feeling rushed puts a negative spin on everything.
  • Enjoy the beauty of everyday life – Stopping to smell the roses gives a perspective that can refresh and refocus.
  • Be grateful – Counting your blessings establishes an attitude of thankfulness for what you have which over-rides the nagging attitude of what you don’t have.
  • Verbalize – Giving sincere compliments to others and telling those around you how much they mean to you boosts your own sense of belonging and lifts others up at the same time.
  • Avoid perfectionism – Making mistakes is not failure. Leave room to forgive yourself and others and move forward having learned from your mistakes.
  • Keep moving forward – Avoid the tendency of going through life while looking in the rear view mirror.
  • Surround yourself with love – An uplifting support system is key to developing and maintaining a positive mental attitude. You are not alone. Find like-minded friends or family who can encourage you during difficult times.


Prevention of Bone Loss

Exercise and calcium with vitamin D are the best way to prevent bone loss, especially in women. A woman will achieve peak bone mass in the years ranging from her late teens to her middle 20s. After that, her bone mass will stabilize providing she has adequate external stimulus to maintain stability (weightbearing exercise) and adequate micronutrients needed to synthesize osseous tissue (calcium, vitamin D and other support factors).

In Western society, especially in the U.S., many women do not get enough exercise, nor do they consume enough calcium and other bone-building vitamins and minerals. Thus, it is not uncommon for women in their 30s and 40s to lose between 1-2 percent of their bone mass per year. By the time they reach menopause, loss can be 25 percent or more. When menopause occurs, the rate of bone loss is greatly accelerated. Thus, the strategy for avoiding osteoporosis is twofold. First, prevent any premonopausal bone loss. Second, reduce the level of postmenopausal bone loss. The best ways to prevent bone loss, in order of importance, are:

1. Regular weight-bearing exercise

2. Calcium: 1,000 mg per day until age 50; 1,200 mg per day after age 50

3. Vitamin D: 400 IU until age 50; 600 IU after age 50. If a family history of osteoporosis is present, add 200 IU per day. During the winter in northern latitudes, add another 200 IU a day. A woman in Minnesota who is over 50 with a family history of osteoporosis should consumer 1,000 IU of vitamin D during the winter and 800 IU of vitamin D in the spring and summer

4. Magnesium: 500 mg per day until age 50; 600 mg per day after age 50

5. RDA levels of the trace minerals zinc, copper and manganese;

6. Silicon, boron and vitamin K: People whose daily diets include six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables along with whole grains will not get plenty of silicon, boron and vitamin K. For the average person who does not follow this type of diet, silicon, boron and vitamin K should be supplemented at levels of approximately 5-10 mg of silicon, 1-3 mg of boron and 100-500 mcg of vitamin K. 

7.  Limit the intake of high amounts of protein, sodium and caffeine which can interfere with the absorption of calcium. On average, each gram of protein consumed will cause approximately 1-1.5 mg of calcium to be excreted. Fifty milligrams of sodium will cause one milligram of calcium to be lost. Fifteen milligrams of caffeine will also cause one milligram of calcium to be excreted. 

Allergy Facts 

Did you know. . .

1.Dark colored cats are four times more likely than light colored ones to cause intense allergic reactions.

2. Ease the pain of a bee sting by using ½ tsp. meat tenderizer ( like Adolph’s containing Papain) with enough water or vinegar to make a paste and apply to sting until pain is gone.

3. If a bee sting causes feelings of faintness, panic, shortness of breath, or a rash develops, go to an emergency room immediately. You may be experiencing a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxsis.

4. Some people with ragweed allergies may have a “cross- reaction” to melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew.

5. Some people with tree pollen allergies might have a “cross- reaction” to fruits like cherries, apples, pears and peaches.

6. If your child misses school due to allergies, he or she has company… 9,999 others are also absent on a typical day for the same reason.

7. If you have a moustache and you have allergies, you could have a problem. It holds pollen right under your nose ready for you to breathe it in. So, add that hair to your shampooing sessions.

8. Love flowers but hate the sneezes? Look for low-pollen plants such as hibiscus, periwinkles, azaleas and roses. Symptoms often attributed to roses are usually due to grass pollen.

9. If you are planning to have your house fumigated, be sure pyrethrum is not used.

10. Fight allergy-causing mold by painting indoor walls that are likely to be damp with mold-inhibiting paint, or by adding mold inhibitor to standard paint.

11. Did you know that there are allergy-free rooms at some hotels? Ask about them. Among the hotels are Best Inns & Suites.

12. Put your child’s favorite stuffed toy in your freezer during the day to kill dust mites.

13. Leave a room that was just dusted or vacuumed for at least three hours to allow airborne dust to resettle.

14. Remember to empty the drip pan under your refrigerator regularly. The combination of food particles and standing water is irresistible to mold.

15. Hay fever sufferers should wash their hair at night to remove any pollen and keep it from settling on pillows and bedding.

16. If you’re doing some holiday decorating, watch out for mites and molds. They love fall leaves, pine cones and and evergreen branches and they are hard to clean off. Give yourself a break. Choose nuts, pumpkins, and unscented candles.

17. To help reduce molds and mildew run a night light continuously in dark closets.

18. Twenty percent of the population is affected by allergy related disease.

19. Between 1 and 2 percent of adults have food allergies.

20. Food allergies are caused by eight foods: milk, egg, wheat, peanut, soy, nuts, fish and shellfish.


Avoid the Flu Without Getting a Flu Shot

Every year, countless people suffer with the flu that don’t have to. And it’s NOT because they didn’t get a flu shot! No. Truth is, many people get the flu even if they have had a flu shot and some even suffer directly from the vaccination itself. There is a better, more natural way to maximize your chances against the flu. Actually there are seven of them…here they are:

1. Get Enough Rest – One of the most overlooked aspects of staying healthy is simply…getting enough sleep. Studies have shown people who sleep…on average… eight hours a night were healthier than those who only averaged six per night. New studies are actually indicating a possible link to cancer in individuals who do not get enough sleep. It is important to remember everyone requires a different amount of sleep. If you are tired all day…or…run out of energy in the mid-afternoon, chances are you need more sleep. And if you feel tired all day…guess what? So does your immune system that fights off disease and the flu. One more important note: If you consume alcohol or caffeine, simply sleeping more hours will not be enough. Alcohol and caffeine decrease the quality of sleep that is impossible to make up. 

2. Stay Away From Sugar – Besides making you gain unwanted pounds, sugar weakens your immune system immediately after it is eaten. If your immune system is weakened, your defenses to the flu will be lowered… increasing your chances to get sick. Any time you are feeling run down, sugar (simple “junk” sugar) should be eliminated from your diet. And it is a good idea to eat as little simple sugar at all times to keep yourself healthy and functioning optimally.

3. Control Stress – More and more illnesses and diseases are being linked to stress. From our nation’s #1 killer…heart disease…to diabetes, and the common cold and flu. Stress SEVERELY weakens your immune system and causes many unfavorable chemical changes in your body. The bottom line is: the more stress you have…that is not dealt with properly…the greater your chance to get sick. Find ways you can regularly reduce your stress. Relaxation, naps, meditation and physical exercise are all great ways.

4. Eat Garlic – Garlic has incredible natural healing powers: it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Garlic is one food that you should be eating every day. It is important to note that garlic must be fresh to give you optimal health benefits. The active ingredient is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless and should not be used. When you use garlic, compress it with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice. If you swallow the clove intact, you will not convert the active ingredient, allicin, to its active form.

5. Exercise Regularly – Studies have shown…over and over…exercise strengthens the immune system and promotes great overall health. Starting and sticking to an exercise program that’s right for you cannot only keep you from getting the flu…but add years to your life.

6. Wash Your Hands Regularly – Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. If your immune system is strong, it should be able to fight off the virus if it does enter your body, but washing your hands provides a bit of extra protection.

7. Regular Chiropractic Care – Regular Chiropractic care allows the nervous system to function properly. Since the immune system is controlled by the nervous system, the immune system is strengthened by Chiropractic care. The more you strengthen your immune system, the less chance you have to get sick with the flu, or any other illnesses.

Each one of these seven things may seem small to you, but when they are all done simultaneously, the impact of your health will be dramatic.


Improve your Golf Game & Save Your Back

Many avid golfers contort their bodies into oddly twisted postures, generating a great deal of torque. Couple this motion with a bent-over stance, repeat 120 times over three or four hours, add the fatigue that comes with several miles of walking, and you’ve got a good workout-and a recipe for potential lower-back trouble.

As America’s love affair with the game continues to grow, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has advice on how to take a proactive approach that will prepare your body for many years of pain-free play.

“Most golfers go until they get hurt, then look for help,” says Dr. David Stude, member of the ACA Sports Council and founding fellow of the National Golf Fitness Society. “Back pain is a warning sign that there is an underlying problem responsible for a symptom that will likely get worse. Doctors of chiropractic look for the cause of the symptom and help reduce the likelihood of future injury.”

If you take the chiropractic approach, you’re in good company. According to Dr. Stude, Tiger Woods says that lifting weights and visiting his chiropractor regularly have made him a better golfer. Dr. Stude and the ACA suggest these simple measures to help you avoid back pain or injury and improve your game:

Steps to help you avoid injury and improve your game:

Purchase equipment that fits. Don’t try to adapt your swing to the wrong clubs: A six-footer playing with irons designed for someone five inches shorter is begging for back trouble.

For the women in golf: If you have “inherited” your husband’s or significant other’s golf clubs, they might be difficult for you to use. Not only are the clubs often too long, but the shaft is often not flexible enough for a woman’s grip. Women typically play better with clubs that are composed of lighter, more flexible material, such as graphite.

For the men in golf: It is a good idea to spend some extra time performing quality stretches-before and after your game-to increase your trunk flexibility. While men are traditionally stronger than women, they usually aren’t as flexible. Men need to improve their flexibility to maintain a more even and consistent swing plane and thus improve the likelihood of more consistent performance.

For senior golfers: If you show some signs of arthritis in the hands, consider a larger, more specialized grip for added safety and performance.

For all golfers: For some, scores may not be as important as enjoying the social benefits of the game. Having clubs that are comfortable will increase the chances of playing for a long time without significant physical limitations.

Take lessons. Learning proper swing technique is critical. At the end of the swing, you want to be standing up straight; the back should not be twisted.

Wear orthotics. These custom-made shoe inserts support the arch, absorb shock, and increase coordination. “Studies show custom-made, flexible orthotics can improve the entire body’s balance, stability and coordination, which translates into a smoother swing and reduced fatigue,” Dr. Stude says. While the upper part of a shoe may score style points, what the foot rests on affects your game.

Avoid metal spikes. They tear up greens and can increase stress on the back. Soft shoes or soft spikes allow for greater motion.

Warm up before each round. “Stretching before and after 18 holes is the best way to reduce post-game stiffness and soreness,” says Dr. Stude. Take a brisk walk to get blood flowing to the muscles; then do a set of stretches. To set up a stretching and/or exercise routine, see a doctor of chiropractic or golf pro who can evaluate your areas of tension and flexibility.

Pull, don’t carry, your golf bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes can cause the spine to shrink, leading to disk problems and nerve irritation. If you prefer to ride in a cart, alternate riding and walking every other hole-bouncing around in a cart can also be hard on the spine.

Keep your entire body involved. Every third hole, take a few practice swings with the opposite hand to keep your muscles balanced and even out stress on the back.

Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes early fatigue, leading you to compensate by adjusting your swing, thus increasing the risk of injury. Don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while golfing, as both cause loss of fluid.

Take the “drop.” One bad swing–striking a root or a rock with your club–can damage a wrist. If unsure whether you can get a clean swing, take the drop.

Chiropractic care can help. Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system, including golf-induced stress to the back, shoulder, knee, arm and wrist pain that could affect your game. “If you golf consistently, you will no doubt feel the stress of the game, but by following a few simple prevention tips, it is possible to play without pain for a lifetime,” says Dr. Stude. 

Neck Pain

Many cases of neck pain in adults can be traced to poor posture and work habits. When you work, try to keep your head centered over your spine, so gravity works with your neck instead of against it. Below are some simple strategies that can help.

  • Take frequent breaks if you work long hours at your computer or drive long distances. Don’t hunch forward, but keep your head back over your spine to reduce neck strain.
  • Adjust your workspace.  Place your desk, chair, and computer so the monitor is at eye level. Knees should be slightly lower than hips. Use your chair’s armrests.
  • Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder when you talk. If you use the phone a lot, get a headset.
  • Stretch frequently if you work at a desk. Shrug your shoulders up and down. Pull your shoulder blades together and then relax. Pull your shoulders down while leaning your head to each side to stretch your neck muscles.
  • Balance your base. Stretching the front chest wall muscles and strengthening the muscles around the shoulder blade and back of the shoulder can promote a balanced base of support for the neck.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach. That position puts stress on your neck. Choose a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck.



School Can Be “Back Breaking” Work

New research reveals an alarming danger associated with childhood backpack use. It is estimated that almost 5,000 emergency visits each year are the result of injuries related to backpacks. Backpack injuries can be prevented!

  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight, the backpack will cause your child to begin bending forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
  • A backpack with individualized compartments will help you position the contents most effectively.
  • When packing the backpack, make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on the child’s back. An uneven surface rubbing against your child’s back could cause painful blisters.
  • Tell your child to use both shoulder straps, not just one. A backpack slung over one shoulder disproportionately shifts all of the weight to one side, and can cause not only neck and muscle spasms, but also low back pain.
  • Padded shoulder straps are very important. Not only will they be more comfortable than non-padded straps, but they will also help prevent the straps from digging into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable, so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Shoulder straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably, and cause misalignment and pain.
  • Talk to your child about the proper use of backpacks and help him or her understand why this and other ergonomic issues are important. A child who is educated early in life on these issues can apply this knowledge late in life and as a result, your child will be happier and healthier.