Give your Child’s Back a Good Pack

At Waverley Chiropractic the health of your child’s spine is important. As children return to school, it is important that parents of school aged children look at the quality and fit of their child’s backpack, as heavy, incorrectly fitted and badly packed school backpacks can lead to spinal health problems as your child grows.

Spinal health is crucial at any age and items like heavy backpacks may cause strain and discomfort to the spine. I believe spinal pain can be attributed to a number of factors, and heavy and incorrectly worn bags may also lead to poor posture, slouching and uneven hips.

The relationship between spinal health and carrying a heavy backpack may also depend on additional aspects such as your child’s age and weight. 

If you’re worried about your child’s backpack weight, here are a few lifestyle and backpack modification tips:

What to look for in a backpack: 

  1. Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child, no wider than their chest and below the
    hollow of their back
  2. A moulded frame on the back, that when adjusted fits their spine.
  3. A bag made from a light weight material like canvas, with two padded straps
  4. Adjustable waist and sternum straps
  5. Separate compartments that allow for easy packing and weight distribution

How to carry the backpack in a spine safe way:

  1. Ensure that the weight of the backpack is no more than 10% of your child’s weight when packed.[1] Only pack essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.
  2. Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.
  3. Secure the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason)
  4. Always wear both straps. Tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.
  5. Reduce the time spent wearing the backpack to no more than 30 minutes at any one time.

Another tip is to ensure your child is undertaking 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, as a part of correct spinal care.

[1] Chen YL, Mu YC. Effects of backpack load and position on body strains in male schoolchildren while walking. PLoS One. 2018;13(3):e0193648. Published 2018 Mar 21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0193648

It’s the Holidays, Don’t Panic!

neck pain

Bottom Line:

Traveling long distances on planes, trains, and automobiles is a common side-effect of the holidays, and the stress of all this holiday travel can be overwhelming. Lifting heavy suitcases, hopping in the car for a 13+ hour drive, or even getting the middle seat on an overbooked flight can lead to awkward neck positions and that all too familiar worn down feeling. It’s no surprise that many people experience increased neck pain and shoulder tension during the holidays, so what can you do about it besides turning into the Grinch and staying home? Well, new research tells us that you’ve made a smart decision in visiting our office for help.

Why it Matters:

No one should have to rely on dangerous medications to get through the holiday season. Even some of the most common over the counter medications have a laundry list of potentially harmful side effects. If you are experiencing neck pain and shoulder tension, Chiropractic care is a top alternative. Researchers have found that adjustments can drastically reduce neck pain, improve mobility,and reduce the overall levels of stress on our musculoskeletal system, which means you can feel better without having to reach for a bottle of pills.

  • Chiropractic adjustments can reduce the stress response triggered by our nervous system.
  • Reduced pain, improved rang eof motion, and fewer muscle spasms are often reported following Chiropractic care.

Next Steps:

For many of us, travel is a part of our yearly holiday tradition. As much as the trip can be hard on our bodies, it’s important to visit with friends and family. We want you to have the best holiday season possible, and if you plan on traveling this holiday season, let us know! We would love to show you a few simple stretches and exercises you can do to help you stay well between your adjustments. Give us a call or stop in today. Happy holidays!

Science Source:

Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain.Alternative therapies in health and medicine. November 2011

Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2017


Easter is nearly upon us and for many it’s a time of travel. The last thing you want on your Easter break is to be worrying about your neck or back. Unexpected neck or back pain can ruin a holiday! Let’s look at some prevention tips.

1.     Take Regular Breaks & Move

Your spine loves movement – long periods of sitting in the same position can affect your spine and may cause pain in the neck and back. Moving around improves circulation, eases the stress on the spine and helps reduce fatigue.

If flying, get up often and move. The aisle seat is perfect for this.

2.     Check Your Posture

Poor posture puts stress and strain on your spine. Maintaining proper posture keeps the spine aligned and in its natural position.

When sitting, make sure your back is aligned against the back of your seat and that your headrest is supporting your head. Keep your shoulders straight and avoid hunching or slouching forward. Resting both feet firmly on the floor will also help. If you are driving, adjust the seat and steering wheel to a comfortable position so that you’re not reaching for the wheel.

3.     Lifting Luggage 

Try to pack as light as you can. It will make lifting easier particularly if you are visiting a number of different places. Use a lightweight suitcase with wheels that is easy for you to pull and manoeuvre.

When lifting luggage, bend at the knees and use the leg muscles rather than back muscles to lift. Hold heavy items close to the body, distributing weight evenly on both feet. When you are moving your luggage, lift slowly and in stages to protect your back. If you are carrying a shoulder bag, switch sides to avoid stressing one side of the back.

4.     Stretch

The more often you stretch the better. This is an easy way to increase circulation and keep the spine mobile. Try to take regular stretch breaks during your travels, at least every 1-2 hours.


So enjoy your Easter break and if travelling keep safe and think about ways to make yourself comfortable to reduce stress and ultimately make your journey more enjoyable. If you have a need for chiropractic care you can book online at Waverley Chiropractic Centre in Glen Waverley via the website or call 9581 2624.

Happy Easter!

How to avoid back pain

Tip No.2 of how to avoid back pain. Glen Waverley Chiropractor Dr Shaun Beovich recommends stretching as a good way to avoid back pain. In the morning, before and after activity and at the end of the day. Try to include a simple knee to chest stretch. The first thing cats and dogs do when they wake up is stretch. We should do the same. We haven’t been moving for 6-8 hours and so we will be a bit stiff in the morning. So start the day by stretching. Great way to help avoid back pain.

Before any activity, whether it be gardening, sport or lifting, we need to stretch. And then afterwards as well to save your back a good warm down is essential. You see all the top athletes fromm footy, basketball and soccer spending a 15-20 minutes stretching after a game or training. We should do the same.

A great way to finish the day is to stretch before bed. So tip 2 of how to avoid back pain is stretching.