How to Properly Wear a Backpack

It’s that time of year again – summer is now over and children all across the area will be returning to school. As students prepare for another year of learning, backpacks will be filled with school supplies, computers, and books. Most individuals simply think about the convenience-purpose of wearing a backpack and do not realize the significance of proper backpack use. What is the proper way to wear a backpack and does a certain wearing technique correlate to back pain in the future?

When considering what backpack to purchase, look for backpacks with broad shoulder straps (and one that also has chest and waist straps). relieve back painLook for straps that are adjustable. Broader straps secured around the waist and chest help to distribute weight evenly when wearing. Although the popularity of the technique is up for debate, aiming to wear both shoulder straps is also key for optimizing equal weight distribution. Straps should be tightly secured with the backpack centered high on the back between the shoulders – avoid hanging below the waist. Uneven weight distribution in the backpack makes the shoulders, neck, and back more susceptible to future injury.

According to American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended that one should not carry more than 10% of their body weight. Increasing weight any more than 10% of one’s body weight puts the back at risk for potential injuries such as lower back strains and herniated discs. In order to lighten the load, it is important to encourage students to leave non-essential items for the day in school or at home. When adding weight to the backpack, heavier objects should be added first and closest to the back itself. Keeping the majority of the weight closest to the center of the body is optimal position for less strain on the lumbar and thoracic spine.

Lifting mechanics are also important to consider in order to prevent further back injury. Educate children on lifting and bending from the knees and not the waist. It is important to use the legs when lifting – this method also decreases global pressure on the spine. Overall, learning these techniques on how to lift and carry a backpack is crucial to spine health for all students in order to prevent current and future back injury.

Do you have a problem with falling? Maybe physical therapy is the answer.

As we begin to get older, keeping our balance can become harder. We may even find that we are more prone to falling. Falls are a serious concern for older people; not only can they cause bodily harm but they are costly as well. There are specific parts of the body that help regulate balance, thus preventing falls. Physical therapy can aid in detecting issues with the balance centers in our body and can strengthen those centers.
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What to Know About CBD (Cannabidiol)

Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid which was discovered in 1940. It is one of more than 120 compounds called cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.  Many people use CBD oils and extracts to relieve symptoms of chronic pain as it is one of the compounds that produces medical affects without producing euphoric or “high” feelings.  Many people are more familiar with THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, which does produce a “stoned” feeling because of the receptors in the body that it affects, which Cannabidiol does not.
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Dry Needling as a Treatment for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as any pain that persists longer than normal tissue healing time following an injury (2 weeks or longer). People commonly develop chronic pain after minor or major injuries, anything from a fender bender to a sprained ankle to major trauma involving surgery.  Typically, we find that patient’s get stuck in a ‘pain cycle’ which can be very hard to break.

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Therapeutic Cupping for Increased Blood Flow & Pain Relief

Many of us were first introduced to therapeutic cupping during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. All eyes were on Michael Phelps, and many of us were surprised to see numerous red and purple marks all over his shoulders and back. The commentators went on to explain what these marks were a result of, and therefore cupping was brought into the forefront as a treatment to relieve pain or increase blood flow.

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Tips to Help with Sciatica Pain from Sitting

If you are required to sit for most of your workday, you may have experienced sciatica pain. Sciatica is pain that affects the back, hip, and leg and is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. Compression of the sciatic nerve can be caused by arthritis or spinal stenosis but can also occur as a result of sitting for extended periods of time, especially with poor posture. Taking these simple steps during your workday can help relieve this discomfort.

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Cold Laser Therapy FAQs

The use of lasers in a therapeutic setting has been around for many years, starting with small studies conducted in the 1960s to test the use of lasers for pain relief.  Cold laser therapy has gained popularity recently in the therapy world since its first FDA approved trail began in 2002. This low-level laser has been shown to decrease swelling and inflammation in people with acute and chronic pain.  More recent studies involving Cold Laser therapy in combination with exercise have been shown to reduce pain levels in patients with Carpal tunnel syndrome and myofascial pain syndrome, among other common chronic pain conditions.

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3 Quick Steps for Addressing Lower Back Pain at Work

Do you often find yourself sore, stiff, and lacking energy while at work? It may be time to address some key factors in your work environment. There is no getting around the fact that sitting for prolonged periods of time with poor posture may be a huge contributor to why you’re feeling that unrelenting pain or stiffness. With office jobs requiring sitting or being in a static position for long durations, there tend to be postural imbalances and over-use injuries that come with them. In this blog you will find 3 important steps to address your pain and improve your function.

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US Department of Health & Human Services Publishes 2018 Updates to Physical Activity Guidelines

Most people know that one of the best ways to stay healthy and prevent injury is to remain active, but did you know that there are specific guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services regarding how much activity people should get in order to get the most benefit from exercise? For the first time since their initial publication in 2008, these guidelines
have been updated based on new research to help Americans use exercise to help prevent disease and injury, and improve overall quality of life. Physical therapy is a great way to begin incorporating exercise into people’s lives, and as PTs and PTAs we strive to
encourage regular physical activity and education about just how many benefits there are to maintaining an active lifestyle.

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The Importance of Hand Washing in Physical Therapy

As the cooler months approach and the seasons change, cold & flu season begins to develop. Luckily, there are a variety of ways one can prevent sickness for one’s self in addition to preventing the spread of sickness to others. Simple suggestions include avoiding contact with individuals who are sick, staying home if sickness develops, avoiding touching the face, nose, and mouth, and covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. One of the simplest ways to prevent sickness includes a task often overlooked: correct hand washing.

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