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Back to school tips from your physio

Chris Purcell
January 10, 2023

With school about to go back for 2023 we thought it a great time to put our two cents from a physio perspective to help your kids have a great year. 

Back to school is a busy time with lots to think about, from lunchboxes and uniforms to books and stationary.  But for us, the two most important things to think about are the type of bag that they use and what they wear on their feet. 

Here are some physio tips to help find a backpack that fits well.

  • Choose a bag with wide straps that fit well on the shoulder 
  • Find a bag with chest and waist straps as these help to transfer some load to the hips and pelvis where the stronger muscles are 
  • Padded back supports allow for a nice snug fit 
  • Don’t buy a bag that is too big for them hoping that they will grow into it (a tip here is that the back should not extend higher than the child’s shoulders when sitting) 
  • Make sure your child avoids swinging their backpack around and only uses one strap

In terms of footwear, there are a range of options.  Kids naturally want to be active at school so it is important that their footwear allows this.  Here are some tips on how to choose the right set of shoes for your child (and for anyone for that matter). 

  • A firm heel cup.  This holds the foot in place.  You should not be able to compress the heel cup in or down on itself
  • Torsional stability (twisting). Hold both ends of the shoe and twist.  It should have minimal movement to help protect the foot from rolling in or out too far 
  • Toe box bend.  Press both ends on the shoe inwards on each other.  The shoe should bend at the toes which is a natural flex point of the point.  If it bends in the middle, it can be a problem in the arch. 
  • Good fit - not too big or small.  Either will cause rubbing and blisters.  

As always, please reach out if you need any more help or advice and have a great 2023.

Chris from Out of the Box Physiotherapy

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