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Back Pain In Children - Is My Child At Risk Of Back Pain?

Back Pain In Children - Is My Child At Risk Of Back Pain?

A common question asked by parents is “is my child at risk of back pain?”

Children can play and do certain movements and actions without batting an eye lid – think nothing of breaking into a full split without warm up, jumping from a high location or even popping their joints to impress their friends for fun.

And back pain is quite common actually in children, especially during their adolescent years – common factors contributing to this includes poor postural habits, inadequate and inappropriate exercises and carrying heavy school bags.

If you find that your child’s back ache is persistent, or if they complain to you several times of their back pain, especially if the pain is in the same place, please take your child to see a doctor, or give us a call to see our spinal physiotherapist.

Why it’s so important to quickly assess, diagnose and treat is because children with back pain may become adults with chronic back pain; hence the importance of instilling wise back care and management in the young.

Causes of back pain in children

Even though sometimes it can be caused by a single and clear incident that causes back pain (this is the clear and relatively straightforward type cases); however, the kinds of back pain that are “there but not quite there”, the nagging and ongoing types, seems to be caused by a variety of reasons working in combination together over a period of time.

Minor injuries such as muscle spasms from overuse at sports and games are generally mild and are quick to recover, as muscles are full of nutrient-rich blood supply, which accelerates healing. However, repeated muscle spasms or incompletely healed muscles for a prolonged period of time may cause other back muscles to compensate for the weakened muscles – over time, this builds up fatigue and pain, and results in postural change.

Poor posture further exacerbates and aggravates back pain in children.

A child with a painful back may avoid sports and activities, and it doesn’t help that the lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle then aggravates more pain in the medium to long run.

Unfortunately, many roads lead to Rome, which is back pain in this case, including:

  • Gender, (back pain is more common in females than males)
  • Age, (children at 12 years and over experience significantly more back pain than younger children)
  • Being overweight and having poor postural habits
  • Carrying heavy schoolbags on one shoulder or in one hand often
  • Incorrectly packed backpacks (lopsided, uneven weight)
  • Sedentary or inactive lifestyle, such as watching a lot of television or sitting in front of the computer
  • Injuries caused by vigorous sports such as football or horseriding, flexibility-dependent sports such as gymnastics or dance, and power sports such as weightlifting or rowing
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as strains and sprains
  • Competitive sports that demand intense training – it is thought that tight thigh and calf muscles can trigger lower back pain, due to compensatory habits

Medical conditions that can cause back pain in children

You must bring your child to a doctor or a physiotherapist for assessment and diagnosis if your child complains of persistent back pain. It’s usually soft tissue injuries such as muscles or ligaments, but sometimes, the pain may be caused by medical conditions that require medical treatment and intervention.

These include:

  • Injuries to their bones and joints – such as compression fractures and spinal disc injuries
  • Fibromyalgia– although more common in adults, this chronic pain disorder does occur in adolescents, causing back and neck pain, with muscle spasm and fatigue
  • Sciatica – pain radiating down the buttock and leg, caused by compression of the sciatic nerve
  • Scheuermann’s disease– a growth disorder within the vertebrae, which may cause curvature (kyphosis)
  • Idiopathic scoliosis – sideways curvature of the spine with an unknown cause. It is usually not painful. Any persistent pain associated with a fixed curvature must be carefully investigated
  • Spondylosis – a structural defect in the vertebrae. Certain activities may increase risk of pain, for example, hyperextending their abck and spine in gymnastics.

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Specialist Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.

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Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover. They then provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations. As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth.

The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver.

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