An Overview of Back Pain in Children
Back pain in children and teenagers is not as common as with older adults, but it can occur. In many cases, a younger individual will report pain and discomfort following a traumatic event, such as a sports injury, fall or other accident. Carrying a heavy backpack during the school year can also contribute to back pain because of the increased stress placed on the spine and its surrounding structures. If a child or adolescent living in the Tyler, Texas area experiences back pain, it is recommended a parent or caregiver contact the pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for a consultation.
Back Pain in Kids and Teens can be a Serious Health Condition
Children and teenagers are much more resilient and flexible than adults so they do not experience back pain and associated injuries as often. Because back pain in children and teenagers is quite rare, when a younger patient complains of pain, it must be taken seriously by a pain management physician. When pain of any degree is reported, a medical history review and physical examination must take place.
Types of Back Pain Addressed by a
Pain Management Physician
The cause of back pain in kids and teens is usually age-dependent.
Younger children typically do not put their spines under the same stress level as older children involved in sports or adults. For the most part, any discomfort in the back area tends to dissolve on its own with rest, not repeating activities that triggered the pain and over-the-counter children’s pain medications.
If back pain becomes chronic in a younger child, there is normally a great concern for a serious health condition, such as a spine infection, spine tumor or an abnormal growth.
Older children involved in athletic activities, as well as teenagers that test their body’s physical limits, are more prone to back pain and injuries. In young athletic patients, pain management physicians often report compression fractures and disc injuries as the cause of back pain. The joints between the vertebral bones can also become injured and cause a stress injury.
Back pain in children and teenagers may become present after specific movements and/or activities. Swimming and gymnastics are two popular sports associated with a higher incidence rate of spondylolysis since it is often caused by spinal overuse.
It is important to note that if back pain is present with changes in coordination or balance, it may be caused by an issue in the spinal cord or brain.
Heavy Backpacks and Back Pain
Heavy backpacks are becoming an issue with school-aged children. Many kids and teens carry a backpack to, from and around school that is full of heavy books, study materials and athletic gear. In cases where backpacks cause extreme pain, it is estimated those packs may equal 20-40% of the child’s own body weight. This large amount of additional weight places a great amount of stress on a child’s spine, leading to pain and overall discomfort.
If you live in Tyler, Texas or surrounding East Texas communities and would like additional information on back pain in children and teenagers, please contact the pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.