It’s normal for adults to have back pain from time to time, especially if the individual who’s dealing with it is under a lot of stress or not taking good care of their body. Everything from the quality of sleep you get to how active you are throughout the day plays into how much back pain you experience.
But, have you noticed your child bringing up their back pain more and more? Do you worry about their spine’s wellbeing?
If so, the time to educate yourself about spinal health is now. Here are 7 signs of back pain in kids as well as a bit of insight for how you can help them combat the pain.
1. Bad Posture
There’s a reason parents should teach their children to have good posture, and it goes way beyond presenting themselves well. Although keeping your shoulders back and your head up does do wonders for your confidence, the main purpose of good posture is to protect the spine.
When a child is constantly hunching over at their school desk or walking with their shoulders’ slouched, they’re putting unnecessary stress on their back. This can develop into chronic pain and lead to more troubling issues if not treated. As such, make sure you positively correct your children whenever you see them using bad posture.
2. Heavy Backpacks
Speaking of bad posture, admittedly, it’s hard to walk around with a straight back when lugging around a heavy backpack. If you notice your child is slouching under the weight of their school bag, suggest that they carry a few of their heavier books in their hands or offer to get them a rolling backpack.
The thing with rolling backpacks is they aren’t really “cool” after a certain age. But, the good news is that most middle schools and high schools have created systems that allow students to use more technology in the classroom and/or keep their schoolbooks at home. This prevents the need for them to carry everything around all the time.
3. A Developing Injury
Maybe it’s not how your child sits in school or everything they carry in between classes that are affecting their spine. Maybe it’s an injury from an extracurricular activity gone unnoticed.
It’s not like you wouldn’t know if your child was seriously injured. But, sometimes minor issues can develop into more intense pains.
This can happen when a muscle in the back is pulled or if a shoulder or neck injury starts affecting the neighboring areas of the body. The best thing to do in such situations is to seek out kids chiropractic care and get professional answers and treatment.
4. Disc Problems
Another sign that your child has back pain worth treating is if they have a disc problem. The spine is made of 23 discs in total from the neck to the lower back. All it takes is for one of these to be displaced for your child to feel an intense amount of pain, and as surprising as it may sound, it doesn’t take much to move a disc.
This can happen as a result of sudden movement or after a strong impact. It can create a sharp pain right away or grow in intensity over time. As such, the best thing to do is treat a dislocated disc the moment it’s identified.
5. Alignment Issues
As bad as it is to have a dislocated disc, that’s not the only spinal alignment issue that may occur in your child’s body. The other is a development issue that occurs in adolescence.
It’s possible for the spine to develop a curve that is a little different from the normal way it’s supposed to bend. The curve may be too far to one side or the other, or it could also be cramped like in the form of a hunchback.
The medical terms for alignment issues include scoliosis, lordosis, and kyphosis. Each one pertains to a unique alignment problem that may develop and require treatment. Treatment ranges from physical therapy and at-home stretching to surgery.
6. Spinal Infection
Brace yourself, because as bad as the issues mentioned above are, there are still some other possible reasons why your child’s back is hurting. The next thing to consider is the chance that your child has contracted a spinal infection. Such conditions are rare, but they’re definitely not impossible.
This would require very careful medical attention and treatment. It’s not like one visit to the chiropractor will cure this kind of situation, but most spinal infections do have a handful of treatment options available.
7. A Tumor
This is what every parent prays their child never gets. It’s one of the worst pieces of news you can receive as a family, however, it’s not something to rule out until you know for sure. There’s a chance your child’s back pain is the result of a tumor growing in their spine or back.
There is a bit of good news, though. Most tumors found in the spinal column are benign, which means they are noncancerous. As such, these tumors usually have a standard procedure to be fixed with.
Treating Back Pain in Kids
It’s a much different thing to treat back pain in kids as it is to identify the source. After all, a child who is dealing with scoliosis or a dislocated disc is not going to have the same treatment plan as one with a spinal infection or a serious spinal injury.
Everything is situational. But, there is hope for your child when you know what signs of back pain to look for and how to get help for the condition they have.
For more wellness and parenting tips to use with your family, click here.