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Insurance Article

Save Your Spine, Buy a Backpack

August 18 2015

Choosing the right backpack can alleviate back pain

Heavily loaded bags and incorrect ways of carrying them are some of the major causes of back or neck aches among youngsters today. To protect your back and prevent ailments, it is important to know the structure and function of the spine.

The human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae or bones. Between each of these bones are discs, which hold the bones together and allows their movement. In addition, the discs also act as shock absorbers, thereby protecting the spine. When the pressure applied on the spine exceeds the level that it can absorb, it leads to spinal injury.

A spine injury can cripple you

A spine injury can cripple you

Waist straps distribute the weight uniformly

Waist straps distribute the weight uniformly

Impact on the spine

Some of the common reasons for spinal or back injury are accidents, strain due to wrong postures and carrying heavy weights frequently. Certain types of bags result in uneven distribution of weight, causing a strain on your body. Here are some of the common issues that individuals face due to a heavy load on the back:

  • Lower and upper backaches, neck pain and headaches
  • Stiff, drooping shoulders
  • Disfiguring curvature
  • Muscle fatigue and musculoskeletal damage
  • Hunch
  • Spondylosis
  • Fractured vertebra

While these problems may seem trivial at the start, if ignored, they can lead to severe impairment at a later stage.

Signs to watch out for

Awareness is the first step to prevent these issues from compounding. A minor lifestyle change, such as choosing the right backpack or ensuring you maintain the right posture, can help to nip these problems at an early stage.

You will know that it's time to get a backpack if you:

  • Lean forward or sideways to balance the weight
  • Experience a tingling sensation in shoulders and arms
  • Experience pain when carrying the bag

Choose the right backpack

If you need to travel frequently with heavy articles such as laptops, books, etc., switch to a backpack that evenly distributes weight and pressure on your back and shoulders. You can prevent injuries to your spine and back by looking for the following features, while choosing a backpack:

  • Adjustable chest and waist straps

    Chest and waist straps provide enhanced support by reducing the overall strain on shoulders, and distribute the weight evenly across the body. This is especially important if you are carrying several items with you.

  • Wide and padded straps

    Wide straps help to distribute the load evenly, while the padding prevents the straps from biting into the shoulders.

  • Multiple compartments

    Choosing backpacks with more than one compartment helps you to accommodate all your belongings in order, evenly distributing weight. It also allows you to take things out with ease.

  • Elasticized mesh design

    The mesh design not only adds to the style, but also prevents sweat build-up between the bag and your body.

  • Lightweight

    Choose bags that are light yet durable. Some bags are heavy even when they are empty, such as leather bags. On the other hand, bags that are made of nylon or canvas are light and durable.

There are several varieties of bags available in the market. Based on your needs and other factors such as travelling frequency, items to carry, etc. opt for a comfortable backpack that will help you stay away from aches and ailments.

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