07 Oct IS CHILDREN’S BACK PAIN A DAILY PROBLEM?
Children’s back pain, spinal deformity, irregular posture or other back problems are not new. Often, this becomes a sensitive issue that is encountered daily. Without taking preventive measures and not applying to specialists at the right time parents risk to face long-lasting children’s spine problems. Unfortunately, scientific evidence confirms that children and teenagers who suffer from back pain are more likely to suffer from chronic pain as adults.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CHILDREN’S BACK PAIN?
Children’s back pain most often appears due to poor posture, irregular sitting at home, inappropriate and uncontrolled sitting at school, or working on a laptop/computer a lot. Back and neck pain can occur very early – even when children are 8 to 10 years old. Especially pain increases during the years of adolescence. Research shows that 24% to 35% of the children under 12 suffer from back and neck pain, and 47 percent during adolescence.
The most common reasons of the non-specific cervical spine (including shoulder), chest and lumbar pain are associated with prolonged sitting (more than 3 hours per day) in front of a computer (not proper position while using computer, the screen, mouse and keyboard position) or prolonged television watching. Prolonged sitting causes weak muscles, which affects the child’s posture and spine. Unfortunately, children with higher body mass index are more likely to have neck, back, and lumbar pain. If such a child does not like spending time actively, does not want to exercise, refuses any sport, then it is not surprising that the posture or back problems appear.
LIGHTEN THE WEIGHT
Another significant reason for children’s back pain is the overweight of school backpacks (especially when they weigh more than 20% of a child’s body weight). The weight of a backpack should not exceed 10% of a child’s body weight. What is more, the backpack should be carried the right way, the weight should be distributed inside the backpack, its design and functional application should be suitable for a child.
Proper working and resting regimes, extra physical activity (compulsory physical education classes at school), correct posture, and application of ergonomics are essential in childhood. Posture disorders require special exercises that can be offered by specialists.
HOW TO TREAT CHILDREN’S BACK PAIN?
Weak back muscles contribute to children’s back pain significantly, so the main way to correct irregular posture is to strengthen the muscles with special exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist. Exercising helps with:
- Coordinating muscle work,
- normalizing muscle tone,
- developing balance and coordination reactions,
- improving joint mobility.
Exercising improves muscle elasticity and increases spine flexibility. This is particularly important during the child’s maturity.
When visiting a physical therapist, according to the nature of the disease and the causes an individual treatment to each child who has spinal problems is selected. After considering a child’s physical health condition, physical activity and potential of the child, the specialist creates an individual program and draws up recommendations. The physical therapist provides each child with a baseline motion, amplitude, pace. Therapeutic exercises need to be done with precise movements, so it is important to supervise how the child performs them, both when visiting a specialist and at home.
We advise you to contact Clinic AGATAS specialists if you find that your child:
- has a too big front to back curves,
- rotating pelvis,
- shoulders are not at the same height,
- tilted or turned head.
Contact a specialist immediately to help prevent long-lasting, frustrating treatment for your child.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD?
Here are some tips to help you maintain the health of your child’s spine:
- Proper seating. Proper seating is based on the four-point rule – both feet on the ground and hands resting on a table. This way you don’t get tired so fast.
- Enough physical activity. Exercising, swimming, playing active games or any other physical activity that strengthens the back, abdominal and other muscles. The period of growth becomes much easier to survive when the child’s muscles are constantly exercised.
- Control your child’s posture. Place the child near a door or wall without baseboards and make sure that he touches the surface with the heels, lower legs, buttocks, shoulders, and occiput. The child needs to remember this posture and try to preserve it.
- Properly selected mattress for sleeping. The mattress should not only provide comfort and pleasure but also become a solid support for the muscles and spine. If our spine discs are compressed by at least 10 percent when stationary, they will rest in a supine position like a sponge. However, such recovery is possible if the spine is in a straight, in a horizontal position. A proper mattress should provide comfortable support for the spine and match the contours of the child’s body. This is extremely important as proper rest is one of the most necessary and important things when the child grows up.
- Comfortable footwear. The footwear should have a soft and cushioned sole. Let’s not forget that during the whole day of walking or standing a lot, the shoe structure partially absorbs and dampens minor bumps and vibrations, helping to protect the structure of the spine.
- A balanced and regular diet. Your child’s diet should contain a variety of foods to help the body absorb all the necessary ingredients and keep the child’s bones firm. Each meal needs to be eaten slowly with chewing a lot. Ideally, each meal should last more than 15 minutes. Slow eating improves digestion, and the feeling of hunger disappears after 10-20 minutes from the beginning of eating. Try to take care of your child during the meal.
APPLY ON TIME
Try to keep an eye on your child and seek immediate advice when in doubt. Early diagnosis of spinal disease and appropriate measures will protect your child from future discomfort and pain. If the spine fails to develop properly, a child may require complex surgery and may suffer from spinal pain for life. Clinic AGATAS professionals advise you to take care of your own and your children’s health.