Dr. Tanvi Desai talks about back pain in children
Updated: Jul 27
Unfortunately, back pain is not a problem faced only by adults. While most of us usually associate back pain with aging, it is fairly common among children and adolescents as well.
Is your child dealing with back pain? Do not worry! Childhood is a critical period of physical development, where a kid’s tissues and bones are constantly under stress and growth. And naturally–there are many factors that could contribute to back aches among children.
If you are a parent, a little overview of this topic may be of help. Why could your child’s back be hurting? What are some symptoms to look out for? And–how can I help your child if he/she has been complaining of back pain recently? Have a read-
Why does your child have back pain?
There can be many reasons why, and not all of them are cause for concern. If your child’s back has been hurting, it can usually be traced back to one or more of these factors-
Physical activities (A lot of it)
When kids run around playing football, jumping on trampolines, or just doing things that children do–there is always a risk of straining a muscle or joint. If your child is engaged in excess physical activities every day, I would advise you to try dialing it down a notch. Overexertion is a big cause of back pain and other injuries–among children and adults alike.
And please keep a check on their backpacks! Make sure they aren’t too heavy and that your kids are wearing their bags the proper way. Leaning forward to carry heavy backpacks–often leads to back pain, shoulder pain, and posture issues.
LACK of physical activity
Children choosing to spend hours in front of digital screens–is a fairly common sight today. If your child is playing video games or watching TV for prolonged periods and is not getting enough activity a day–it may be time to bring some changes.
A sedentary lifestyle with close to no physical activity–can be just as bad (if not worse) as staying excessively engaged. And particularly, sitting for long periods is a major cause of back pain. Kids often maintain a slouched, hunched-over position when sitting–and this puts strain on the back, neck, and shoulders. So, try and find some interesting outdoor activities that your child might enjoy. Let us cut back on those long screen times.
Falls or hits to the body
It is very common for children to bump into places or fall–and some of these falls may have unforeseen effects. In cases of severe impact on the body, the force often causes shifts/misalignments in the spine. And a misaligned spine is one of the biggest causes of back pain. If your child has suffered a fall or any kind of “hit” to the body recently, please consider getting a check-up. Make sure his/her spine is in good health.
A traumatic birth
In some cases, all the twisting, pulling, or usage of certain tools to remove the baby from the birth canal–can cause small misalignments in their spinal column. This is usually seen in the upper neck. These misalignments often contribute to back pain among children.
Such cases often come with other symptoms. If you are wondering about spinal misalignments in your baby, look out for one or more of these signs-
Irregularities in sleeping posture
Early Onset Scoliosis
Scoliosis is an abnormal, side-to-side curvature of the spine. And based on the age of your child when diagnosed with this condition, EOS can include-
Congenital scoliosis: Being born with it
Infantile scoliosis: Developing it under the age of 5
Juvenile scoliosis: Diagnosed between the age of 6 and 9
Adolescent scoliosis: Diagnosed at the age of 10 and above
Typically, this curvature of the spine “stretches” and irritates the nerves. It may also strain the joints, causing inflammation. And when this is backed by the unnatural pressure on the spinal discs because of the curvature–back pain becomes common.
Although symptoms of scoliosis may be different in every child, parents are advised to look for some of these common signs-
A visibly curved spine
Difference in shoulder height
Head not centered on the body
Other postural abnormalities
Treatment at Lotus Chiropractic Care
If your child is suffering from back pain, it is advisable to start with gentle, non-invasive solutions to your problem. And a good step in that direction is to seek chiropractic care for your child.
In my office, I first meet with the parents to get a full understanding of their child’s condition and medical history. I will then perform physical assessments on the child, to identify any spinal problems, posture issues, or other health concerns.
Gentle adjustments have been key in treating the pain, injuries, or misalignments faced by children. Primarily, adjustments for children are different than what is performed for adults. I use particularly gentle pressure to make corrections–based on the child’s age. And in the case of newborn babies, no more than fingertip pressure is used for adjustments.
In my office, I also guide children through some exercise routines or lifestyle changes–to open them up to better days. Let us make our children healthier and happier!