The weight of your backpack may be the reason behind your ongoing back discomfort. Experts share ways to safeguard and maintain the spine and neck in good shape.

Long-term back pain can result in degenerative changes to the body.

Written by Daphne Clarance: If you’re suffering from back or neck discomfort, there’s a high chance that your backpack could be to be the cause. Most people have the tendency to fill their backpacks to the max, without taking into consideration the weight that their shoulders are required to carry.

It may appear like an ordinary task however, a professional advises the fact that carrying your bag improperly can ultimately cause chronic back pain that can eventually become degenerative.


“What we generally advise the patients we see is patients suffering from back neck and back pain fill their bags up to a certain point. They try to pack their bags as they travel from one location to the next and then tend to hang it over one shoulder, which can be an issue of worry,” says Dr Kadam Nagpal, Senior Consultant in Neurology, PSRI Hospital, New Delhi.

The impact of large bags on the back

The burden of carrying bags on one shoulder, as most people do, causes the torso to buckle. spine. “We typically see people carrying bags of 25-30kg across their shoulders. They are prone to occupational injuries such as headaches in the neck or back pain. It also happens when the weight of the bag is not evenly distributed across the spine and shoulders.” Dr. Nagpal.

Acute back pain is characterized by the development of swelling from overstressing the back region. (Photo courtesy: Pexels)

Back pain that is caused by carrying bags that weigh a lot on a daily basis could seriously harm the spine which can ultimately impact the health of the heart too. Incorrect posture, also, is a result of heavy bags being often carried around, leading to an aging process within the body.

“Keep bags’ weight low,” advises Dr Nagpal. “Backpacks are an excellent option , but they must be packed up to a certain amount and should not be carried only on one shoulder. The backpack should be balanced on both shoulders.”


Individuals should periodically take a break from anxiety by taking their bags off while traveling, because acute back pain can last from up to two weeks. It is characterized by an increase in the size of a certain region due to stress or straining.

Chronic back pain However, it can appear for weeks or months. “For this reason, we recommend our patients to not carry heavy items or engage in any form of power lifting or weight training in the gym. Rest the area. If back neck pain or discomfort persists, they must undergo certain sessions of physiotherapy to provide pain relief,” says Dr. Nagpal.

Offloading can significantly ease tension to your back and shoulder when traveling. (Photo courtesy: Pexels)



If you suffer from chronic back pain that is because of repeated exposure and pressure on the back and neck region, degenerative changes begin to appear in the spine as well as the back. “Any type of degeneration that occurs when it first begins cannot be reversed. This is why that we need to know in order to develop a plan to help sufferers ease their pain.” He says.

Postural adjustments are recommended. “When individuals are at their desks sitting upright, they must sit. They must have some form of sleep or back support. They shouldn’t have to carry heavy weights over their backs. If it’s some sort of job requirement, then it is recommended to try offloading from time to time. Offloading intermittently can help keep the spine in good shape. In turn, physiotherapy sessions and medications can ease back pain,” says Dr Nagpal.