Rucksacks…. how to pack and wear them to avoid back pain.
Many of us now sensibly wear a rucksack to work or school. Some have had advice that it would be a better way to carry their gear to work or school and others have just found that is just helps in their overall day to day efficiency. We often see patients who wear their packs poorly and this may have been a contributory cause to them suffering with back pain and them needing to see an osteopath.
At Back to Back, we regularly see patients coming in wearing their backpacks. This is great, but often they wear them in a way that overtime, adds more additional load to their bodies that is needed or good for them. Getting this right is key to a more efficient body and hopefully less back pain.
Here are some basic tips to consider when putting things into your pack.
- Ideally, have the correct pack to meet your needs. Unfortunately, one pack does not meet the requirements of all jobs!
- Decide what you NEED to take with you. Don’t pack it with lots of unnecessary items. People often walk around with items in their bags that are rarely used or have never been used.
- They say that one should organise your ‘kit’ into groups. This sounds a bit mad, but what it really means is that different weights and bulkier items should be placed in your pack differently.
- For work, we are unlikely to be taking a sleeping bag, but we need to load the heaviest items low down and close to our backs. This is nearest to our centre of gravity. Wrongly placed heavy items can lead to us being unbalanced and strained.
- Lightest items go on top.
Now…. almost the most important part is that once on your back, the sack needs to sit snug to you body and the upper part of the pack against the upper part of your back. Often we see patients who wear their packs hanging as low as their bottoms. This is not good! Walk along the street and you regularly see children wearing their rucksacks this way. This pulls you off balance and backwards, excessively straining your body. This can often lead to lower or upper back pain or even hip pain.
For those that are interested look to this link on ways to pack your backpack and adjust the advice appropriately for your work bag use.
If you would like or need to see one of our osteopaths at Back to Back, please call reception on 020 8605 2323.