PTC Blog

I can’t believe summer is over and it is time to get back to school. This week I wanted to talk about the importance of backpack safety and how we can prevent injury to our growing children. Even kids as young as elementary school age, can complain of neck, back and shoulder pain due to improper use or weight of their backpacks.

 Here are a few helpful tips to decrease the risk of backpack related injury.

  • The top of your backpack should sit just below the shoulders and bottom of the backpack should never hang more than 2 inches below the waist.
  • Place heavier items closest to your back. If you find yourself leaning forward to compensate for the weight, the back pack is too heavy and placing a lot on strain on your mid back. Backpacks should never be heavier than 10-15% of the child’s body weight.
  •  Don’t sling your backpack over one shoulder, urge your child to always use both straps.
  • Use the waist strap to help distribute the weight evenly.
  • Sometimes a rolling backpack is necessary. However, keep in mind they are not easy to roll through snow or up stairs which prompts the child to carry it.

Kerra Pietsch, LPTA, CFNC
Physical Therapist Assistant
Andover Physical Therapy

September 4th, 2019

Posted In: General


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Warmer weather allows us to tackle those long overdue summer yard projects. An increase in activity shouldn’t mean an increase in injuries. Help prevent sore muscles by doing these stretches before taking on your summer yard project. All stretches should be held for 30 seconds, and 2 sets should be completed on each side for optimal benefit.

1. Upper Trap stretch. Tilt your ear to you shoulder, while keeping your nose pointed straight forward and shoulders relaxed, until you feel a gentle stretch through the side of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

2. Shoulder Cross body stretch. Grab just above your elbow with your opposite hand and gently pull your arm across your body until a stretch is felt on the back of your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

3. Piriformis stretch. Laying on your back bring your knee toward your opposite shoulder until a stretch is felt through your buttocks area. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

4. Hamstring stretch. Seated in chair with one leg bent and one extended out in front of you. Lean forward slightly until a stretch is felt down the back of your thigh. Toes should be relaxed to avoid putting stress on your sciatic nerve. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

5. Gastroc stretch. Standing facing a wall with a staggered stance (1 foot closer to the wall and 1 foot behind). Bend the knee closer to the the wall, while keeping the back leg straight. Lean into the wall, until a gentle stretch is felt in the back leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Also don’t forget to drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen during your summer projects!

Rebecca Varoga, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist
Isanti Physical Therapy

June 13th, 2018

Posted In: General

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