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2 August 2007

Backpacks & Scoliosis

Backpacks & Scoliosis

Although this may seem like a rather mundane topic, one might be surprised at the amount of research that has been conducted on the effect of heavy loads carried in a backpack by people with scoliosis. While standard recommendations state that the amount of weight carried in a backpack should not exceed 10% of the person's body weight, the research concludes that this may not apply to students living with scoliosis. Loads as small as 5% of the person's weight, less than half of the typical load limit, were found to have a significant, negative effect upon the compression of the spine, and also on the functions of the heart & lungs. This occured even in patients with mild scoliosis (Cobb angles of 10-25 degrees).

This information should be particularly relevant to parents of students with scoliosis. Schoolgoing patients treated by CLEAR-certified doctors are provided with a doctor's note that they provide to their school authorities, specifically stating that the patient must have two sets of books - one for use at studying at home, and one to be stored in their locker at school (the only other option, using a rolling suitcase, seems to be much more popular at airports than at educational institutions).

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