Tag Archives: NJ Impact Testing

Helpful Back-To-School Tips from TheraSport Physical Therapy!


Do you know how much your child’s backpack weighs? According to the APTA if it’s more than 15 percent of his or her body weight, then it could hurt your child’s back. Millions of students in the United States carry backpacks to and from school, often overloaded with books, supplies and equipment.  Weight of the backpack and improper use can result in injury to the skeletally immature child.

During adolescence kids are going through growth spurts and so their bones and posture are vulnerable to injury.  Injury can result when a child carrying a heavy backpack uses bad posture or shifts there weight abnormally to adapt a heavy load.  These adaptations can cause pain from disk injury, improper spinal alignment and deformity.  In addition, the muscles of neck, shoulder region and lower back can be strained leading to injury.  In more advanced cases, a child may even experience nerve compression and damage.

Some of the warning signs that a problem may be arising include back pain, fatigue, red marks on the shoulders, tingling or numbness in the arms and a shift or leaning in one direction.    

The American Physical Therapy Association has set forth guidelines that should be used with backpacks to reduce the risks associated with them.  These recommendations include:

–       Backpacks should be worn on both shoulders for equal weight distribution, and the height  should fall two inches below the shoulder blades and sit at waist level.

–       It should have padded shoulder straps, which distribute the weight in the bag evenly over his/her shoulders. 

–       Shoulder straps should fit comfortably on the shoulder and under the arms, so the arms can move freely.

–       The bottom of the pack should rest in the contour of the lower back.

–       Keep the load 10-15% or less of the child’s body-weight.

–       Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back

–       Carry only those items that are required for the day


TheraSport Physical Therapy can help you and your child choose a proper backpack that fits your child properly.  Additionally, our physical therapists can help your child improve their posture, correct muscle imbalances and manage the pain from improper backpack use.  TheraSport has two board-certified McKenzie credentialed practitioners to help with all spinal related problems.      

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ImPACT testing at TheraSport Physical Therapy

What is ImPACT testing?  

•    Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing
•    20 minute neuro-cognitive assessment tool
•    Provides useful information to assist qualified practitioners in return to play decisions
•    Most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system

What are the features of the test?

•    Measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time
•    Results are presented as PDF file and can be emailed
•    Automatically stores baseline data and repeat test data for each individual
•    Testing can be administered online for individuals or groups

Why perform baseline ImPACT testing?

•    It is highly recommended that Contact/Collision sport athletes receive a baseline test
•    Normative data is available but NOT as accurate as a personal baseline test
•    Baseline tests benefit a child with a learning disability &/or a child who is gifted/talented

Which athletes are at greatest risk?

•    Sports which involve most head contact—football and ice hockey
•    Next highest risk sports—gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, basketball and lacrosse
•    Unfortunately, concussions can happen any time—could benefit everyone ages 10-59

At what age is it valid to begin baseline ImPACT testing and does it need to be repeated?

•    Norms have been established for comparison beginning at age 10
•    Baseline testing should be repeated every 2 years until brain fully developed (age 18)

What is the evidence supporting the use of ImPACT testing?

•    Extensive literature provided at http://www.impacttest.com on validity of test
•    Use of computerized neurocognitive testing in conjunction with detailed medical management of symptom clusters leads to safer return to play for concussed athletes
What is the cost of ImPACT testing through Therasport Physical Therapy?
•    The cost is $35 for a baseline test
•    Cost $35 for ANY post-concussion test OR may be covered under your health insurance

Contact TheraSport Physical Therapy today to find out more about ImPACT testing.

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