We advocate the use of rucksacks especially if you suffer with shoulder pain or neck pain. If you wear your laptop or handbag over just one shoulder you may end up leaning to one side to offset the extra weight. This will result in back pain. From this you might develop lower and upper back pain as well as strain your shoulders and neck. Carrying a bag on one shoulder can lead to bad posture.
Backpacks are brilliant because the weight of the pack is evenly distributed across the strongest muscles in the body: your back and the abdominal muscles. But you have to wear them with both straps over both shoulders!
However, backpacks can still be overloaded or not used properly which can make for some heavy health problems. So be sure to balance the weight of your bag. Unbalanced, heavy backpacks sometimes promote leaning forward, rounded shoulders and a curved upper back. This removes the natural shock absorbing shape of your spine. A heavy unbalanced bag will lead to the development of shoulder, neck, and back pain.
Make sure the straps aren’t too tight as well! Tight, narrow straps will dig into your shoulders pinching nerves and interfere with circulation so watch out for tingling or numbness in your arms and hands. If you have this then make adjustments.
So your backpack checklist is as follows…..
Do you struggle to take your backpack off? It’s too heavy!
Do you have to lean forward to walk with it on your back? It’s too heavy!
Your back aches when walking to and from work with your pack on your back? It’s too heavy!
Combat the aches and the pains by doing the following…
Carry only what you need. Always pack light if possible. If it’s not possible be sure to pack your bag properly. Pack the heaviest stuff closest to your spine and nearer the top so that you don’t feel you have to lean so far forwards as you would do with a bottom-heavy bag! Also consider using side pockets to distribute weight.
Adjust the straps so the pack sits close to your spine. Don’t let them stay slack.
Learn how to pick up your rucksack properly! As with any heavy weight, you should bend at the knees when lifting a backpack to your shoulders.
Maybe it’s time to consider strengthening your core! Learn how to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. Pilates is one example of what you can do to help.
So remember a rucksack is best! Pack it well and it wear it well to keep your back happy.