Does your child often complain about back pain? Consider consulting a pediatric spine specialist to examine them for treatment. Occasional back pain is common in kids aged 10 and younger; however, there may be a serious injury or condition that requires urgent attention if it is chronic. Here are some common causes of back pain in kids.
- Spinal stress fracture
Spinal stress fractures commonly cause back pain in kids. However, your child may not realize they are injured; the symptoms can take a while to appear. Spondylosis, a bone injury that happens in the back of the spinal column, is a leading cause of spinal stress—adolescents who engage in sports that require bending backward may be prone to this condition. Fortunately, this condition can clear with nonsurgical treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, and wearing braces. Surgery may be necessary if the pain doesn’t stop after several months of trying other treatments.
- Spine infections
Kids may experience infections in their spines, with back pain emerging as a symptom alongside low-grade fever and malaise. Spinal meningitis, a serious infection in the spine, can happen due to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and germs. If your kid has back pain accompanied by meningitis symptoms like high fever, stiff neck, vomiting, and seizures, you must visit the emergency room as soon as possible. Imaging tests may help reveal where the infection is. Your child may need to take antibiotics through IV instead of by mouth if bacteria cause their infection. Surgery may not considered unless the infection risks damaging the spinal cord or antibiotics fail to cure the condition.
- Intense training
While physical activity is good for kids, intense training can result in overuse injuries in young athletes. For example, dancers and gymnasts often experience back pain because of overuse. Also, children who live sedentary lifestyles may complain of back pain due to weak core muscles, poor posture, and obesity. It’s worth noting that visiting a chiropractor is a good way to manage the condition; they can address the root cause of the problem through neurologically based chiropractic care.
- Spinal tumours
Benign and malignant tumors can develop in the spinal column, causing back pain in teens. Severe tumors may cause serious pains, while others may not create any symptoms. Some red flags to watch out for in tumor-induced back pain are weight loss and pain at night. If your child exhibits these symptoms, get healthcare providers to test for the tumor. Treatment varies; sometimes, noncancerous tumors may need surgery since they can cause spine deformities.
- Heavy school bags
A big school bag that is slung over the shoulder can cause chronic back pain issues, too. Other potential risks are muscle strain, spine curvature, and rounding of the shoulders. A school bag that weighs over 10% of the child’s weight is a risk factor for back pain. An incorrectly packed backpack is another. Parents can avoid this by ensuring the weight is light for their age. A child that weighs 40 kg should carry less than 4 kg of items in their backpacks. Additionally, it helps to secure the materials in your child’s school bag so they don’t move around and distort your child’s center of gravity.
This is a contributed post.