Back to school: help your child’s posture, breathing and vitality

September is back and the new school year begins. After being at home for many months, our children used computers and cell phones a lot more than before. It certainly made things easier for communication; however it also created very bad posture habits that we need to address. Now that children go back to school they have to carry their back packs, sit most of the day and wear a mask, and we need to help them adapt to the situation.

Posture is one of the ways we can improve our overall wellbeing because it can help oxygenate our brain better. Did you know that forward head posture can result in diminished vital capacity of the lungs by as much as 30%?

The crunched over posture and forward neck flexion have unhealthy consequences on the neuromuscular skeletal system. As the head moves forward, the centre of gravity shifts and the weight of the head dramatically increases.

There is a strong association between the forward flexion of the neck and weakness of breathing muscles. This posture is recognised to provoke muscle strains in the neck and back. It interferes with the proper motion between the spine and the ribs and it even may lead to a loss of the normal curve of the neck: the cervical spine lordosis.

Efficient breathing comes from a healthy, movable and adaptable spine and chest where each and every vertebra and each rib take part of the motion.

The spine is intimately connected with the respiratory diaphragm. When you slouch you actually compress the diaphragm and the interior organs and restrict your chest expansion. It creates more tension in the mid-to-low back and eliminates the opportunity for you to fully fill your lungs with air. With time this leads to tiredness, poor digestion and circulation, poor concentration and weakened immune system.

Since 33% of teens send more than 100 texts per day, they have to be made aware of the long term disastrous effects of their bad posture. Warn your child about the dangers of continuous texting. Let them know that it is serious if they are experiencing pain and swelling in their joints. As a parent you probably do not expect your child to give up their cell phone but you should ask them to consider cutting back on their use and encourage them to adopt a correct posture.

While sitting bring the cell phone to eye level instead of sloughing. Take breaks often. Do not use computers or tablets in the bed. When at home, use the table and a support so the computer device is at eye level while in a good straight posture.

Chiropractors around the world are seeing younger and younger patients complaining of back and shoulder pain. Not only do they spend a lot of time on their cell phones but school-aged children also often burden their spine carrying heavy backpacks filled with books and supplies.

Here is how to choose a proper back pack for your child and how to use it:

Make sure you choose a bag that has adjustable straps and that is made in a resistant but light material that is proportionate to your child’s size.

It should not go higher than shoulders height and not lower than waist level.

Make sure your children use both shoulder straps of their back-packs so the weight is evenly distributed.

We also recommend the use of a waist strap to distribute the load on the hips and reduce the strain on the back.

Weigh their bag and make sure it doesn’t exceed 10%-15% of their body weight.

At the end of the day go together for a walk outside so you can all breath in fresh air and move your joints and get the blood flowing in your body. Exercise is a must to keep oxygenating your brain.

After following all these recommendations, if your child often complains from neck or back pain, you should go and see a chiropractor for evaluation. It is not normal to feel pain while maintaining a proper posture. It is also recommended to see a chiropractor as a preventative measure to make sure all is moving properly.

Chiropractic care is essential to maintain fluidity in spinal and chest motion during breathing.

Chiropractors deal with neuro-musculoskeletal conditions on a regular basis and do so successfully. With specific hands-on approach, they adjust the spine to help restoring proper joint function. Through these chiropractic adjustments your body is given the opportunity to heal itself naturally. The end result? You are healthier and pain free, allowing you to live life to the fullest once again.

So, don’t wait for bad posture, neck or back pain to dictate your life-see a chiropractor today!

By Sandra Genest-Boudreau | Christophe O. Alves
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Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children. Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic. Algarve Quiroprática clinic: EN125 in Pêra
282 312 853 | 969 397 375 | Licença da ERS n.º 17485/2019 de 11-06-2019