Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

April 26, 2017

Back pain in kids


Recently, Gail Fennimore PT PCS C/NDT reviewed an article titled Many US Children suffer from low back pain. Interestingly, she has noticed increasing number of complaints in her pediatric physical therapy work with kids and teens. 

According to a JAMA pediatrics study, low back pain in school-aged children is becoming more common, especially as they age and is reported in as many as 18% of 14 to 16-year-olds. While no single risk factor was identified, many cases stem from musculoskeletal overuse and trauma associated with sports.  Other common factors  are back injury, family history and quick or spurts of growth.  It is also reported that children are at risk for back injury because of their developing bodies. 

Study recommendations include communicating with a pediatrician or specialist about back pain symptoms and consulting with an expert, like a pediatric physical therapist, to prevent and manage pain.  One general suggestion is to allow a child to participate in a designated number to hours per week that is equal to his age; that is a 10-year-old can play sports for 10 hours per week.  Also, encourage variety in exercise and movement! 

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