Helpful Information

Six Spine-Saving Tips for Your School Aged Kids or Teens

teen studying

School is back in session, which means your children and teens will be spending countless hours sitting at their desks, hunched over computers or studying into the wee hours of the night. These long hours sitting and studying in the same position can lead to long-term back pain and spinal issues. 

Here are six ways to help your kids or teens protect their back this school year.

Teach Them Correct Posture

Your child is not going to know what good posture is until you show them. Remind them to sit up straight rather than hunching over their desk or laptop. It’s also important to have a comfortable chair that’s adjusted to their height for them to use while studying. And, encourage them to get up and move around periodically.

Provide a Good, Spine Healthy Sleep Surface

A firm, spine-friendly mattress will set your child up for success during the day. Not only will they sleep better, making them a better student, but it will also improve their posture throughout the night. If your child sleeps on their back, suggest that they keep a pillow underneath their knees. Or, if they sleep on their side, place a pillow between their knees while they sleep.

Buy Them Supportive Shoes

We know…the last thing you want to hear after spending hundreds of dollars on school supplies is that you need to buy something else. But, supportive shoes can make a world of difference when it comes to your child’s spine health. For more information on how shoes affect your spine and what types of shoes are best, check out our blog from March 2022.

Encourage Them Not to Wear a Heavy Backpack

Whether your child is on a college campus or bounding through the halls of their elementary school, it’s very likely that they are wearing a backpack for the majority of the day. People should only carry 10-15% of their body weight on their backs. We recommend weighing your child’s backpack to insure that they aren’t carrying too heavy of a load.

Show Them Stretches and Other Spine-Friendly Exercises

If you’ve read any of our other articles, you know how important stretching is for your spine. If your teen or child is experiencing back or neck pain, show them stretches and other spine-friendly exercises to help relieve that pain. Stretches such as child’s pose, supine twists and forward folds are all great options.

Educate Them on Sports Injuries

Injuries are often a part of playing sports, no matter at what age. Don’t be shy about sharing the long-term affects your child may experience due to a back or spine injury while playing sports.


Dr. Bendt P. Petersen is an orthopaedic and neurospine surgical specialist with over twenty years in operative clinical practice. He is a fellowship-trained surgeon whose practice is the only one in the Mobile-area devoted exclusively to the treatment of your spine.

The Center for Spine Health employs the most advanced operative and nonoperative therapies in concert with the most highly-trained physical therapists and other advanced ancillary practitioners to help you live the life you want to live.


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