Is your child complaining of back pain? If your son or daughter is carrying too many books, supplies and other things around all day in a backpack, that could be the source of the problem. The reason is simple: heavy backpacks, especially if they are carried improperly, can do damage on everything from lower back, neck and shoulder pains to headaches and numbness.


Here are some things you need to know:

  • Your child should only carry about 10% and not more than 15% of his/her body weight in a backpack. Put your child on a scale with and without the pack to do a quick, easy check.
  • If your child is carrying too much weight, lighten the load – carry only what’s needed that day, leave unnecessary items at home and only bring home books that are needed for study that night.
  • Lightweight packs with two wide, padded shoulder straps are recommended. Make sure your child is using both straps to distribute the weight evenly. Be sure the straps are adjusted so the backpack rides in the middle curve of the back instead of sagging low.



  • If your child is using a backpack with wheels, that’s fine as long as your child isn’t stooping to pull it or lug it up stairs.

We all know how important it is for our children to get good sleep, eat well and be safe to be successful in school – and this includes using backpacks correctly.

Ken McGinty…back to ranching!

Ranching is hard and physically demanding work every day, all the time.  So when Ken McGinty’s back pain knocked him out of the saddle, he went to Texas Back Institute for help.

Dr. Michael Duffy diagnosed Ken with lumbar spinal stenosis and, in his case, recommended surgery.

“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t stand. I had a MRI, came here, scheduled the surgery and got on with it,” said Ken, who tends his ranch in Ranger, Texas.

“Degenerative spinal stenosis occurs in virtually the entire adult population as a result of the natural process of aging,” said Dr. Duffy. “Spinal stenosis a very common indication for spine surgery for adults over the age of 60, and Mr. McGinty was right there in that age group.”

Ken underwent a laminectomy procedure and, two months later, was at Texas Back Institute for his last post-surgical visit with Dr. Duffy who determined it was time to lift the physical restrictions required during the healing process.

Receiving the doctor’s blessing to return to the physical rigors of running a ranch and other activities he enjoys, Ken was a happy man.

“After two months since surgery, I’m back to ranching just working cows, making sure fences are up, driving tractors and routine ranch stuff,” said Ken.  “I’m right back at it, so I can play golf, I can ride horses, I can bail hay and I can work. I’m happy. I can get back to life as normal.”


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