Back Pains Caused by a Heavy Backpack

Introducing a backpack causes a force to be placed backwards of the body, our body then counters this force by bending forwards at the neck. This happens to help us maintain balance. While doing so stops us from falling over; maintaining such a position in space could often lead to excessive muscle tightness, neck joint pain and cervicogenic headaches. The forwards head position adds additional compression loading due to the increase weight of the head (think of a see-saw).

Some Muscles Work Overtime

Pain Neck Muscles

The muscles mainly affected when carrying a backpack are Upper Trapezius, Sternocleidomastoid, Mid Cervical Paraspinals. These muscles are activated  by a huge degree with backpack usage. While this may be ‘normal’ and non problematic in healthy use of a backpack – the muscles highlighted above may potentially cause pain, dysfunction and headaches when overactive and imbalanced.

For more information by Wayne Sun contact us at Perth Wellness Centre

KIM MH, YI CH, KWON OY, CHO SH, & YOO WG. (2008). Changes in neck muscle electromyography and forward head posture of children when carrying schoolbags. Ergonomics. 51, 890-901.