Quiz - Carry That Weight

School’s back in and your child may feel like quizzes are popping up every week. This particular quiz, developed with input from Angela Thomas, Director of Physical & Occupational Therapy at Candler Hospital, has important information not only for students but for parents as well. People over the age of 30 have a higher risk of back pain than their younger counterparts, but everyone can be affected. Find out whether you pass or fail on this subject. Answers at the bottom:

1. If a backpack needs to be filled with multiple items, you should place the heaviest items closest to your back.

B. False

2. Your doctor may try to pinpoint the location of your back pain and see how it affects your movement with each of the following methods EXCEPT:

A. Asking you to try walking on your toes and then on your heels.
B. Have you lift your legs straight up while lying down.
C. Have you complete a slow version of the YMCA dance.
D. Check the reflexes in your legs with a rubber hammer.
E. Ask you to bend forward, backward, and sideways.


3. Students should carry no more than ____ percent of their body weight in a backpack.

A. 3
B. 5
C. 10
D. 12
E. 15

4. People who notice back pain need a good amount of bed rest.

A. True
B. False

5. To prevent back pain from returning, what should you remember to do when lifting something?

A. Spread your feet apart to give you a wide base of support.
B. Bend at your knees, not at your waist.
C. Lift using your leg muscles.
D. Hold the object as close to your body as you can/
E. All of the above.



1. A. True. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons also recommends that children (and their parents) pack their backpack neatly and use both of the backpack’s straps, firmly tightened.

2. C. No YMCA dance, but your doctor may try other methods that don’t seem related to back pain, such as touching different areas of the leg with a pin, cotton swab or feather to see how well you can feel each object.

3. C. 10 percent. For example, if your child weighs 80 lbs., the backpack should weigh no more than 8 lbs.

4. B. False. Bed rest is not recommended if you have no sign of a serious cause for your back pain (such as loss of bowel or bladder control, weakness, weight loss, or fever). You should only stop your normal physical activity for the first few days.

5. E. All of the above. Also, do not twist while you are bending for the object, lifting it up, or carrying it. 

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