September is one of my favorite months at Vitality Chiropractic because we have the honor of helping many foster kids of San Diego with our Annual Backpack Drive. We love knowing we are all having a positive impact in the lives of these children by simply donating a backpack! Thank you for your continued support!

Here are some great, practical tips as you are buying and fitting your kids with their backpacks this year….

  1. Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
  2. The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  3. A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  4. Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be.
  5. Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  6. Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  7. The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  8. If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
  9. Although the use of rollerpacks – or backpacks on wheels – has become popular in recent years, it is now being recommended that they be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

This month we are highlighting Dr. Elizabeth Winter, ND, LM, CPM, one of our extraordinary health partners! We have been collaborating with Dr. Winter over the past 6 years and have seen incredible health results as an outcome of her work. Not only has she helped many of our Vitality patients, she has assisted me with my health over the years with great success and outcome.

Dr. Winter offers integrative and functional medicine and midwifery services to the greater San Diego community. She believes the role of a doctor is to partner with patients on a journey to health, coming to understand not only their unique physiology but their goals, preferences, beliefs and values in regards to their health and healing. Her approach encompasses treating the root cause of diseases versus treating symptoms alone, stimulating the body’s innate ability to heal itself, and using natural treatments, when appropriate. Her areas of expertise include women’s health, preconception and infertility, pediatrics, hormone balancing, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, chronic infections, and digestive complaints. She also cares for women during the prenatal and postpartum period and attends homebirths in the greater San Diego area.

For more information about Dr. Winter, please visit her website: