back pain is usually thought of as an "adult" problem (research
shows that up to 80 percent of all adults worldwide will suffer
low back pain at least once in their lifetime) new evidence
suggests that back pain is becoming an increasing problem
for children and teenagers, and that a variety of factors
can lead to this condition.
Researchers questioned more than 10,000 Israeli schoolchildren
in 1st through 6th grade regarding their average weight, average
weight of backpacks, if there were on-campus facilities to
store backpacks, the height of chairs and desks in relation
to student height, seating arrangements, and physical activity
Results: Between 30 percent and 54 percent of the
students carried bags containing 15 percent or more of their
body weight; almost 15 percent of the 1st graders and 20 percent
of 6th graders sat in chairs of "inappropriate" height; in
74 percent of the classes, students sat with their sides facing
the instructor and in another 35 percent, students sat with
their backs to the teacher; 30 percent of the schools did
not have storage facilities for backpacks; in 48 percent of
the schools, there was no organized play activity during recess
and in another 6 percent there was no provision for any type
of physical activity during recess.
Parents, your children may be at risk of developing low
back pain. Fortunately, you can take several steps to maintain
your child's health: Monitor your child's backpack for weight;
talk to the school about repositioning desks and physical
activity; and of course, have your child examined regularly
by a doctor of chiropractic - it could prevent years of unwanted
Limon S, Valinsky LJ, Ben-Shalom Y. Children at risk. Risk
factors for low back pain in the elementary school environment.
Spine, March 15, 2004;29(6):697-702.
For more information on back pain, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/backpain.html