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Have a Back-Friendly Back-to-School

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Desks, backpacks and sports, oh my! The back-to-school season is a great time to think about spine health.

As students open their notebooks and sharpen their pencils—or click on their word-processing programs—many are getting ready to spend a large portion of each day at a desk. But improper desk posture may lead to muscle tightness, muscle weakness and back pain. For students who have trouble maintaining good posture, the physical therapists at The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York recommend building a stronger core. They also have some suggestions for workstation setup to enable healthy posture.

When students aren’t sitting at a desk, they may be lugging around backpacks so heavy the neighbors can hear when the packs are set down on the floor. It’s no wonder some students complain of shoulder, neck or back pain. That’s why the American Occupational Therapy Association has a fundamental motto for carrying a backpack: Pack it light, wear it right.

Back-to-school season also raises special concerns for parents of children with certain spinal conditions. These caregivers may wonder how kids with scoliosis or Chiari should handle school sports, gym class and other physical activities. Rule number one, agree pediatric neurosurgeons Dr. Richard Anderson and Dr. Neil Feldstein: Talk to your child’s doctor.

For more information about working at desks; choosing, packing and wearing a backpack; and planning sports and other activities for kids with scoliosis or Chiari, continue reading…

Learn more about Dr. Richard Anderson on his bio page here.

Learn more about Dr. Neil Feldstein on his bio page here.

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