Thursday, January 8, 2009

Heavy Kids Backpacks Bad for Kid's Backs

Heavily loaded backpacks can lead to lumbar spine asymmetry during loading
Researchers reported that 8-kg backpacks led to disc compression and up to a 10° change in Cobb’s angle.

By Susan M. Rapp1st on the web (December 31, 2008)

TORONTO — Investigators who conducted the first study using MRI to assess how lumbar disc height is affected when subjects wear heavy backpacks found that caudal intervertebral discs compressed the most relative to typical school backpack loads.

“Lumbar asymmetry was a new and unexpected finding of this study,” said Timothy Neuschwander, MD, of San Diego. The study subjects — three boys and five girls with a mean age of 11 years — had normal Cobb angles when not wearing backpacks, but those angles increased to almost 10° when they wore backpacks weighing 8 kg.

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