Every year January & February rolls around and parents go through the exciting time of seeing their children get ready to go to school. For some it is their first time, others it is going from primary to secondary and it is a time of mixed emotions as the kids are growing up & becoming more independent.
Every parent rushes around to try to find the right uniform clothes, backpack, shoes & even sort out a study area at home but this is mixed in with sorting out daily life routines, paying bills, working & just trying to keep on top of life. Therefore it becomes pretty easy to forget about some of the potential injuries that children can sustain from not having the right shoes, a bag that is too heavy or a poor study area to use at home.
Switch has physiotherapy clinics located in Sydney that helps children in lots of different ways using our range of physical therapy techniques & podiatry services. We can help children to develop and maintain their mobility skills, joint range of movement, muscle strength, and motor skills.
If your child is feeling pain in their body maybe in their neck, back or feet that isn’t attributed to a specific incident, accident or sports injury then it is worth seeking a children’s physio in Sydney to assess why. There could be imbalances and discrepancies in their muscles and movements of their body and we can advise on how best to treat these symptoms to reduce any pain being suffered. What we are finding more and more these days is that children are suffering pain from not wearing the right shoes, carrying bags that are too heavy, trying to use a laptop on a desk that isn’t set up correctly or using mobile devices for long periods of time.
Our physiotherapists can work with families to help correct these situations & we are also able to work in a consultative way with schools and teachers, providing advice on reducing risk in daily activities or teach new skills to identify areas to look for.
How to fit a backpack
Believe it or not just throwing the backpack over your shoulder isn’t the best way to prevent potential injury or soreness to shoulders, neck or back, here is what we suggest;
Why you shouldn’t over load a back pack
Most children will just throw everything into their back pack and not even give any thought as to where or how the weight is distributed. Just like a heavy vehicle hauling goods on a trailer, there are right & wrong ways to prepare a load. In the case of a back pack, putting things in correctly can help avoid back or shoulder pain
When wearing a backpack, we are essentially providing an external force to the spine and shoulders. With the application of external forces, there is a potential to cause overload and/or deviation of the structures bearing the force. Therefore, it is important to fit and pack the backpack in the most efficient way possible, so that the stress and load being placed on the spine and shoulders is minimised. That way your child can bring all the things they need to school, whilst preventing the potential negative consequences of wearing a backpack.
What problems can be caused by a bad fitting back back or one that is over loaded?
Well, the topic of sitting at a desk relates to children and adults these days as the majority of job roles are desk bound. Most issues arising from poor desk setups or not sitting correctly are due to excess pressure/tension being placed on specific parts of the spine (or other areas of the body) that are loaded in positions out of alignment. Issues can also be caused by overload (areas of the body that have to work excessively hard) or simply because specific areas such as the spine don’t move enough (i.e. prolonged sitting).
How do you reduce potential pain points?
The most important one of all is try to get up and move around every 20-30 minutes for a 2 minute walk around the house or the room before returning to a seated position
The bones in young children’s feet don’t fuse together until puberty. This means their feet can lack muscle strength and be prone to hypermobility, which is why they need firm, supportive shoes to help protect them while they’re growing. This becomes especially important for active kids who are moving around a lot at school in a classroom, out in the yard, walking to or from school etc.
When you think about it, a child’s feet will spend most of their growth period in a school shoe – from around 7.30 am to 4.00 pm every day for at least six or seven years their feet will have a school shoe.
One of the biggest problems we see is that parents buy shoes that are too big to try & save a bit of money, but that can help a child fall over and make it easier for them to get scuffed as they are typically ‘dragging’ their shoe along. What our podiatrists in Sydney often see is the parents end up replacing them because they don’t last long enough as it wasn’t the right fit.
Children will often get annoyed at wearing shoes because they have blisters, trip more often or can’t run comfortably in them. Guess what, the parents end up buying another pair – this could have been avoided if the right ones were bought in the first place.
For extreme cases the child then has pain in their feet, lower legs or even lower back from not being able to walk comfortably. From our perspective it is another client we can help, but if the right shoe was fitted the first time around it could have been avoided.
So in short, the right fitting shoe can
What to look for when trying to get a shoe fitted?
What features should a good fitting shoe have?
What type of feet problems can we treat in our clinics?