Thursday, May 17, 2012

Back Pain in Children and Teens

If your child or teenager is experiencing pain in their back, it is important that you see a medical professional to diagnose the root cause or condition behind the pain. Thankfully, most back pain issues in children are simply the result of overuse or strain. Such minor soft tissue damage, such as strains to muscles, ligaments and tendons, is easily treated with rest and careful monitoring. There are, however, more serious injuries and conditions that should be considered and ruled out, especially is back pain is acute or persists for longer periods of time.

What triggers back pain in children and/or teens?

Sports Injuries & Accidents
If you are a parent, chances are you are no stranger to accident and activity-related injuries. These are natural parts of childhood. That said; always ensure your child wear the appropriate safety gear for sports and their seat belt. Obviously, some injuries may be more serious than others. No injury should be dismissed as minor without careful observation, especially if the child expresses acute or lasting pain. The injury could be a stress fracture which can be very serious.

Heavy School Bags
A recent BBC report reported that each year in the UK alone more than 120,000 kids visit the doctor regarding back pain resulting from a heavy backpack, with the problem being the worst among 11 to12 year olds. Your child should use both straps of their backpack and the pack should fit snugly against the back, with heavier books towards the back of the backpack. Children should not carry more than 10% of their body weight on their back, which is typically between 7 and 13 pounds. Recent studies showed some children carry as much as 60 pounds on their backs!

Scoliosis is a condition that results in the abnormal curvature of the spine. It can manifest in children as young as 3 or as old at 18, and often grows more pronounced with growth spurts. Scoliosis is most prominent in females, but all children and adolescents should be regularly screened for the condition. Treatment varies depending on the condition and the patient’s age, but for most children, a special spinal back brace can help prevent further curvature. In some instances, surgery may be a better option.

More Serious Conditions
There are few serious conditions that may also result in childhood back pain, including spinal infection, a spinal tumor, juvenile arthritis, and spondylolisthesis (a condition that can affect vertebra and the nervous system.) While none of these conditions are common, they should be ruled out by a medical professional if pain persists.

About MMAR Medical: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including top quality post-operative back braces to a wide selection of hinged, unloader and arthritis knee braces.

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