Backpacks Can Be A Pain In The Back

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DALLAS, Sept. 20 (UPI) — Hitting the books may result in high grades, but a bulging back pack can result in a condition called rucksack paralysis, a U.S. orthopedic surgeon says.

Dr. Kevin Gill, director of the Orthopaedic Surgery Spine Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said rucksack paralysis — with symptoms including pain and tingling in the hands and arms — is caused by the strain on shoulders and arms from a bulging backpack.

The problem could become permanent if students continue to sport packs that are too heavy, Gill said.

“If the child is straining or slouching, that is a sign the pack is too heavy,” Gill said in a statement. “You can often lighten the load by ensuring that kids don’t carry anything in their packs that isn’t necessary.”

Gill recommends avoiding slinging a backpack over just one shoulder.

“Use a pack with a waistband and carry it with both straps to distribute the load,” Gill said. “Or you may want to consider a rolling backpack or luggage cart.

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