It’s true, after all, practice makes perfect—especially for back health. Good spine habits as a child and young adult lead to good ones as an adult. Now that students are back to school and have to carry around all those heavy textbooks, it’s important to do this safely, even if it’s just between classes. Here are some back to school spine tips from Atlantic Spine Specialists for optimal spine health:

Avoid Sling Bags

Although bags with one strap may be more fashionable, they put uneven strain on one side of your body. Instead make sure you wear a backpack with two straps. This will distribute the weight evenly and cause less harm on their back. Make sure the backpack is close to your back and not loose from the body. Finally, keep your heaviest objects close to the body. Any weirdly shaped items should be placed away from the back. This will help you avoid any back pain.

Sit Up Straight

It may sound like a teacher being overbearing, but it’s in your best interest to listen. Poor posture restricts breathing, as your chest compresses over your lungs, making it harder to breath easily. Also it causes lower back pain—maybe not when you’re young and your body is malleable, but ask anyone who’s middle-aged how their back feels after a long day of hunching over their desk.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

The temptation to be stylish and wear high heels may be overwhelming, but high heels cause a great deal of strain on your back. Because high heels put your foot at an angle, it pulls your joints out of alignment. This causes back pain as well as neck and shoulder pain.

Lift Properly

If you’re starting college and moving into a dorm or apartment, make sure you lift with your legs, not your back. Keep any heavy objects as close to your body while carrying them as possible.

Keep these back to school spine tips in mind throughout the school year. If you have lingering back issues, Atlantic Spine Specialists in Morristown, NJ treat all types of back issues and patients of all ages. Dr. Giordano and Dr. Nachwalter—Atlantic Spine Specialists’ fellowship-trained, board-certified spine surgeons—can restore your quality of life, whether you’re the one back in school or dropping off your children.