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By now the Fall semester in is full swing and Acadiana students are feeling the pain. Between that hard dorm mattress, hunching during class and lugging around ginormous textbooks, young people can suffer from negative effects on their spine.

“Since starting college last fall, my back has been killing me. I assume it’s from crouching over my desk studying all the time and a heavy backpack. After talking with some upperclass friends, they told me that it happens to everyone and that I’ll get used to it.”

The biggest culprit was found to be a students backpack. One study found that up to 85% of college students were dealing with pain and discomfort due to their backpack. The pain was reported in their shoulders and neck but also in the lower and upper back.  One solution: ditch the fashion and get the best backpack for your back. Here are 3 quick tips to ease the pain.

1. Prevent back pain with a backpack approved by the American Chiropractic Association.

North Face, LLBean and REI all have appropriate packs with features like:

  • Padded, wide straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Ergonomic design that sits close to your back

2. Follow the 10% rule.

A loaded backpack should weigh no more than 10 percent to 15 percent of a student’s body weight. Instead of carrying bottles of water, bring a collapsible bottle and fill it when you get to class. Plan your day ahead to ensure you only bring what you need to school. Leave some books in your vehicle and retrieve them between classes. Use digital versions on textbooks when possible.

3. Give your back a break and chill on the flip flops!

Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes can help offset some of the weight of your backpack and ease discomfort during those long treks across campus (or up 5 flights of stairs in Griffin).

While ULL does not have a Chiropractic Facility on campus, most college students still on their parent’s insurance can visit a Chiropractor without a referral and only pay a copay. Recovery Chiromed accepts most major insurance plans and treatment with our doctors can help prevent major back issues later in life. Call our office to ask questions or schedule an appointment at 337-988-2188. 

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