Polk residents share concerns with Rep. Guice about heavy student backpacks

Published 4:10 pm Monday, November 16, 2009

Jackie Woods, founder and director of Adawehi Institute, Healing School and Wellness Center, recently hosted a meeting attended by NC Representative W. David Guice, his senior policy advisor, Joe Johnson, and Dr. Winn Sams, a Polk County chiropractor.

Dr. Sams introduced the discussion of school-aged childrens spinal health relative to backpacks and book bags, which is becoming a major concern in many countries.

The amount of extra weight a childs body is carrying can cause the spine to twist and turn to accommodate changes in posture and musculature patterns, said Dr. Sams. The net effect, she continued, is alteration in nerve flow, pain and postural changes. Without early detection and treatment, we are setting our kids up for health problems that are very easily prevented.

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Representative Guice said, The health of our children, indeed all people, should be an extremely high priority for all of us. I appreciate the time and effort that Dr. Winn Sams and Jackie Woods have put into this issue. I look forward to working with them and members of the General Assembly to assure that this issue receives the attention it needs.

Parents are seeing an increase in visits to the pediatrician and chiropractor, as well as to the emergency room in response to their childrens complaints of neck, shoulder, and back pain; muscle spasms, and tingling hands.

Many spinal experts have concluded that the problem is often the weight of the book bag relative to the weight of the child. Some studies are reporting that children are experiencing pain when the backpacks are 10 to 13 percent of the childrens weight, and others are suggesting higher thresholds, such as 20 to 25 per cent.

Dr. Sams would like to talk with parents, educators, and health officials who are interested in this subject. This childrens health issue is an opportunity to discuss how alternative therapies, like chiropractic and massage, can address the issues early.

For more information contact Dr. Sams at 828-817-4544.