Help children avoid back pain from backpacks

You might not know this but pediatricians are regularly reporting more and more cases of injuries in school-age children and teens from back strain. The main culprit in these injuries and pains are often too-heavy backpacks.
Studies have shown backpacks usually weigh in at 20 to 40 percent of a child’s body weight, meaning a 90-pound child could be hauling around a 36-pound backpack day after day.
Simply put, this is too much strain on a child’s spine. That coupled with sitting for long hours each day at desks can make for numerous back pains and strains in children at a time when their spines and bodies are developing.

When a person of any age tries to carry a heavy weight across their backs for a long period of time, the body compensates and this can lead to everything from reduced balance because the person leans forward; rounded shoulders; muscle strain and damage to the rib cage and joints in the spine, and distorting the curves and alignment in the back.
What can be even worse is when a child carries a backpack over one shoulder, which weighs down one side of the spine more than the other. This leads to straining muscles, back pain, spasms, and even developmental issues.
Heavy back packs also strain neck muscles, leading to headaches, shoulder pain, lower back pain and arm pains.

Preventing problems
There are two major ways to help your child reduce possible back pain issues related to their backpacks.
First, make sure the backpack itself is a good one.
– It should have a hip strap, belt or frame to distribute the weight from the shoulders to the pelvis;
– Canvas backpacks are lighter than leather;
– Adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back or even lumbar support;
– Multiple compartments distribute weight better;

Second, make sure your child is properly using the backpack.
– Don’t sling the pack over only one shoulder, use both straps;
– Use all compartments;
– Make sure the straps are tight and snug against the child;
– If the child has to lean forward while walking, the backpack is too heavy;
– Lighten the load as much as possible by having your child carry only necessary items. Other items can be left at home or in a locker;
– Use a weight limit of 10-15 percent of the child’s weight;
– Clean the backpack out regularly;
– Get the smallest backpack you can that will still allow them to carry everything necessary;

As a new school year approaches, keep these ideas top of mind when picking out your child’s next backpack and on a daily basis as they pack for school. But also you can help by being proactive and asking questions. Talk to your child to see if they’re having any pains, watch the weight of the backpack, watch to see if the child looks is having any issues. Talk to teachers to see how you can minimize the weight of a backpack and what gets carried to school each day.

Allison Family Chiropractic welcomes families and children who seek to feel better and want total body health. Our caring atmosphere and expertise can be a major benefit to you and your children. If you want to make an appointment today, call 419-991-0713 or email us today.


Stats on back pain, chiropractic treatment

We’ve written extensively about the many issues chiropractors see and treat on a regular basis. But when confronted with the sheer numbers of what people fight daily and how chiropractic care helps them, it paints a pretty staggering but interesting picture.
Here are 23 stats to back pain issues worldwide and how chiropractic care helps ease spinal and health issues:

1) 31 million Americans experience low-back pain each year.
2) 62 million adults worldwide report low-back pain per year.
3) Low back pain is the leading cause of worldwide disability.
4) 50 percent of all working Americans have back pain annually.
5) 80 percent of the population experiences a back problem during his or her life.
6) Back pain is a leading cause of missed work.
7) Back pain is the second most common reason for doctor’s visits.
8) $86 billion is spent on back pain each year.
9) Nearly $30 billion in productivity is lost each year from chronic back pain.
10) More than $6.5 billion is spent on pharmaceutical sales for spinal conditions each year.
11) 32.3 million adults report neck or cervical pain.

Regular chiropractic care has been shown to:
12) Reduce hospital visits by 60 percent.
13) Reduce days in the hospital by 59 percent.
14) Reduce outpatient surgery by 62 percent.
15) Reduce pharmaceutical costs by 85 percent.
16) Reduce back pain in pregnant women by up to 84 percent.

17) More than 20 millions American seek chiropractic care each year.
18) 60 percent of those people are female.
19) Chiropractic adjustments are performed on average 1 million times each business day in the U.S.
20) Chiropractic care has been around for more than 100 years.
21) 58 percent of the people who use chiropractic care cite it as essential to a health care/insurance plan.
22) Patients save 45-55 percent more money when they see a chiropractor for treatment instead of a medical doctor.
23) Nine out of 10 chiropractic users believe their treatment is effective.

If you still aren’t convinced about the importance chiropractic care could play in your life, check out an earlier article about why you might want to give it a chance today.

And when it’s time to begin chiropractic treatment, consider Allison Family Chiropractic. Dr. Allison’s safe, effective care has been shown to help patients dealing with everything from back and neck pain to migraines to asthma to allergies, scoliosis and any number of physical conditions. Contact Allison Family Chiropractic today at 419-991-0713 or click here for our online contact form.

(Sources: American Chiropractic Association; the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy;

5 reasons to try chiropractic care in 2015

Many people enter a new year with a giant list of resolutions, goals and things they’d like to try in the next 12 months.
A lot of those items tend to tie back to being healthier and living a better life. One simple way everyone can do that is simply by regularly visiting a chiropractor.
But if chiropractic care is something you haven’t considered, or you’re hesitant about it, don’t be. Now is the time to visit a chiropractor and get on a plan.
Chiropractor stretching woman's arm
Statistics show Americans spend $50 billion each year on back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association. And back pain is also one of the most common reasons for missed work and doctor’s visits.
But studies show those who regularly visit a chiropractor miss significantly less work time, experience more back pain relief and spend much less money each year than those who go to a medical doctor.

So what exactly would you get from regular visits to the chiropractor?

1) Pain Prevention
Each day the wear and tear on your body may seem minor but it adds up. The stress and rigors we all go through, especially those who have physically demanding jobs, can harm our musculoskeletal systems and that leads to more serious injuries and illnesses. Along those same lines, your overall posture has a big impact on the way your body functions. By aligning your spine properly, chiropractic care improves your stance, curvatures and any turning that may be harming how you carry yourself.

2) Optimal performance
Regular chiropractic care has been shown to increase oxygenation, improve circulation, reduce muscle spasms, improve flexibility, decrease lactic acid and help the body work efficiently to deliver nutrients to cells, thus aiding recovery.

3) Manage Stress and fight pain/symptoms
Hectic and stressful lives impact our overall well-being. Keeping your muscular, nervous and skeletal systems in line and balanced eradicates the tenseness we all feel and helps you manage stress in a positive way.
Back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain can often be alleviated by adjusting the spine, which can also target pain in the hips, knees, headaches and other pains throughout the body.
Chiropractic care also helps those who have sciatica, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia.

4) Improve brain function, mood, focus
Studies show chiropractic adjustments can boost the Central Nervous System, which improves overall brain function. A study by the International Research and Philosophy Symposium showed EEG scans found improvement in balance and activity within the brain due to chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic care also helps balance body chemistry, which improves chemical imbalances that cause depression and ADHD.

5) Boost your immune system
Subluxations in the nervous system can disrupt the immune system, hindering its abilities to fight injuries and infections. Simply put, adjustments help the immune system work smoothly in many ways. Another help to the immune system is better sleep quality, which can be disrupted from aches and pains or even stress. Chiropractic care pinpoints these issues and allows your body to sleep better, which improves your immune system and allows your body to work efficiently.

profileChiropractic care has numerous benefits to your body in the short- and long-term. So if one of your goals for 2015 is to get a more fit and healthy body, make sure regular visits to a chiropractor tops your list of resolutions.
And if you aren’t sure where to start exactly, call Allison Family Chiropractic at 419-991-0713 to make an appointment today. We’d love to discuss any questions you may have about what we do and the benefits you’ll see from our care.

Ergonomic tips to help you at the office

No matter how old you are, if you work at a sit-down job in an office environment, your workspace can either be helping or hurting you throughout the day.
Poor ergonomics can lead to all types of health issues: From neck pain, to back pain, to vision damage to carpal tunnel syndrome. But proper ergonomics go beyond being comfortable.
Here’s how your workspace can be set up to help you stay healthy in the long run.

Office Ergonomics1) How are you sitting?
All hail the chair! This is easily the most important piece of equipment for your health.
— Make sure your chair has good lumbar support, if not use a pillow or a rolled up towel to gain it.
— Make sure the chair is lowered until your feet are easily supported on the ground.
— If the seat is too deep for proper support, use a pillow to make up the difference.
— Seat depth should have “one to three fingers’ space between the front of the chair and the back of the knee,” according to the ACA.
— The seat angle should be about a 105-degree angle. You don’t want to sit too upright or too far back.
— Armrests should be one inch below the forearms.

2) Monitor your monitor
The American Chiropractor’s Association has some fantastic ideas for how to place your computer monitor so it doesn’t damage your vision or strain your neck.
First, you want to be able to view the monitor with your head in a “straight-forward position without the chin pointing up or down.” if you don’t wear glasses or wear single-vision glasses, make sure “the top of the glass screen is at eye height.” This allows you to gaze down on the screen at the correct angle. If you wear bifocals, ask your optometrist about a good angle for your screen.
Also, make sure your screen is about an arm’s length away and avoid regularly turning your head from one side to the other to view things. This can cause damage to your neck and muscle imbalances that add up over time and become injuries.
3) The keys to the keyboard
Most people are lined up wrong for their keyboards because the keyboards themselves are lined up wrong, with a number pad and mouse on the right, meaning you have to reach too far to use the mouse. The solution is either use a keyboard with the number pad on the left or use the mouth on the left so the distance to both is the same. Also, make sure your bellybutton is lined up with the “B” key, according to the ACA.
Two other good tips are to use keyboards with adjustable angles and a keyboard tray so you aren’t constantly reaching up to type.
4) Take breaks and switch it up
Working diligently for hours on end may look great to your co-workers or boss, but you need to break up the tension this creates. The ACA recommends:
— 15-second breaks each hour to shake out your arms
— Look away from your screen regularly and focus on something “20 feet away” to help your eye muscles
— Get up and move around, fax or copy something to get away from your desk.
— Switch in different tasks to break up staring into your computer and typing. Make some phone calls or meet with co-workers just to spread things around.

These tips are great ways to make sure your body isn’t falling into unhealthy habits. The fact is, poor ergonomics can lead to many health problems on a daily basis — neck pain, back pain, vision problems, headaches — and long-term issues — carpal tunnel, heart problems, worker’s compensation.

profileAt Allison Family Chiropractic, we’re dedicated to making sure you and your family members feel healthy on a daily basis, not just through our treatments but by giving you great information on a regular basis. Be sure to give us a call for an appointment at 419-991-0713 or stop by today.