Why do backpacks cause pain?
There are a number of different reasons why backpacks may cause pain. However these are not all necessarily related to the backpack itself. Some of the reasons consist of; too much weight in your backpack, poor form carrying your backpack and the need to strengthen your core, back and legs:
1. Carrying too much weight
It goes without saying that the more you carry, the more it’s going to weigh you down. The added weight hiking through tough terrain and up steep inlines is only going to put added pressure on your back. So where possible try not to overpack, only take what you really need. Remember to pack and travel smart.
2. Carry your backpack correctly
Sometimes all it takes is poor form when carrying your backpack, not just the weight. Always make sure your straps are correctly and securely adjusted and that your backpack remains close to your body. When packing your backpack ensure that you pack heavier items first, you want to avoid your backpack hanging low around your waist, this will only add more tension on your upper body.
3. Increase your strength
Hiking isn’t a walk in the park, it requires stamina and strength to carry a big backpack for miles up and down tough terrains. It’s all about preparation, start training before hand and build up your upper body strength. Do smaller walks and hikes then build yourself up. Exercises like deadlifts, lat pull downs and dumbbell rows can help achieve this.
4. Wear when needed
Only wear you backpack when necessary. If you have taken a break or having a rest, take your backpack off stretch and relax.
5. Incline & uphill walking
Carrying a heavy backpack uphill for long periods can cause lower back problems too. Again try to build up your endurance, stamina and strength in preparation for your hike. Train your back and leg muscles, go on smaller walks and build your way up gradually. Another factor is making sure you wear your backpack correctly, both straps over your shoulders, all the straps adjusted correctly and be sure you purchase a goo backpack with padding.
Here is a handy video with some great tips on how to help prevent back pain from backpacks. Watch below: