Back Pain in Children

Updated at: Dec 31, 2012
Back Pain in Children

An aching back may hinder your child from carrying out  the routine activities; therefore, it is important to identify the causes, symptoms and treatment of back ache in children.

Gunjan Rastogi
PainWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Dec 31, 2012

Back pain isn’t a common condition among children and adolescents, however, in recent times, it has been reported that many children and teenagers do suffer from this  problem. Usually, back pain in children  can   occur due to  infection, muscle strain, a broken spinal cord, tumour and spinal inflammation, but there are some other causes  too.

According to recent reports, almost 20 to 70 per cent of children suffer from mild to severe back pain by the time they reach 15. Majority of them  do not complain of chronic back pain but  they do suffer from shooting and stinging pain in their back. Though back pain in children isn’t a serious problem but its long persistence  can be a  cause of worry, especially if your kid is younger than 10 years.


[Read: Are you at the risk of Back Pain?]


In this article, we have put light on potential causes and symptoms of back pain in children and their treatment.


Causes of Back Pain in Children

  • Poor Postures that kids never tend to improve!

[Read: Correct Postures to Avoid Back Pain]

  • Calcium Deficiency, resulting in week bones.
  • Spinal Cord Tumours such as ependymoma.
  • Disc Injuries and Vertebral Fractures: Children who perform gymnastics and high risk sports such as in-line skating, base jumping exert intense pressure on their spine and bottom, thereby, injuring themselves.
  • Lumbar Spondylolysis is another common cause of back pain in adolescent athletes.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis.
  • Family history of Arthirtis.
  • Spinal Infection.
  • Wrong way of carrying heavy school bags.

Symptoms of Back Pain in Children

Consult a doctor if your child has one or more of the following signs of back pain.

  • If back pain attacks your child only during night and becomes severe over time.
  • Back pain is accompanied by mild to high temperature and night sweats.
  • Back pain in conjunction with weight loss.
  • If your child is only five years old and experiences back pain. .
  • Limping  or having weakness and pain in legs while walking.
  • Back pain resultant of a back injury.
  • Medical history of cancer, tuberculosis, arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Disabling pain in the back and burning sensation.
  • Inflammation of spine.


Treatment of Back Pain in Children

  • Physiotherapy for back pain is an effective treatment which does not involve usage of medications.

[Read: Physiotherapy for Back Pain]

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Staying active— this is very important to ease back pain because by remaining active, the muscles remain strong, but ensure that your child doesn’t get exhaust.  
  • Do not let your child engage in high-impact exercises.
  • Heat massage: Put a heating pad on your child’s aching back for 20 minutes twice during a  day. Be careful that the water isn’t too hot  because it may burn your child’s skin.

Swimming, cycling and walking are all recommended to a child with back pain because inactivity weakens muscles and also make the child prone to obesity.


Read more articles on Pain.



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