The Top Four Tips for Teen Back Pain
A growing number of children and teens are reporting instances of back pain, with up to 30% reporting pain “bad enough to limit their activities for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks,” according to Seattle Children’s Hospital. What can you do to help? The following health tips can help you ease your child’s tender back.
Quit Couch Surfing
According to the National Library of Medicine, most American children spend 3 hours daily watching television. Combined with other “screen time,” they can spend at least 7 hours daily sedentary, and that’s not including the 5-7 hours per day they spend seated in a school setting. Sedentary children will have weaker and less conditioned backs and core muscles, contributing to an increase in injury caused by strain. Limiting electronics and encouraging aerobic activity, flexibility, and core strengthening will keep their spines supported and their muscles limber and strain free.
Helping your children to be aware of their postures when they are using electronics may also ease pain. Dr. Brian Hammond of the U.K. health organization BackCare agrees. “It is likely that slumping and hunching over computers and hand-held devices is a contributory factor in the different types of back pain reported,” he says. “Younger people are far more likely to be hunched over a device on a sofa, and would benefit from paying closer attention to the basics of good posture.”
Temper Body Burn-Out
Older children and teens can tend to be too aggressive in their activities or sports, increasing the risk of injury to the bones and soft tissues in the spine. Teenagers may also be involved in multiple sports at one time, resulting in overtraining of certain muscle groups one season and undertraining and imbalances during others. Older children can also injure the joints or discs between vertebral bones, causing painful stress injuries or even compression fractures. Encouraging a balanced training regime and plenty of down-time can reduce the risk of injury and “strain pain.”
Ban Backpack Overload
While backpacks are a better option for distributing book-weight than shoulder or messenger bags, pediatricians are seeing overuse and back strain injuries in school-age children because they are too heavy. Often, backpacks may be 20-40% of the child’s body weight, which is the equivalent of a 30-60 pound backpack for a 150 pound adult. Understandably, this is a huge strain on the spine, and can cause additional imbalances if only carried on one shoulder. Make sure to help your child pack only the essentials and regularly purge what is not needed.
Has your child complained about back pain?
It’s very important to seek medical care for your child’s back pain if it’s not quickly resolved by some rest. Health Star Clinic offers an expert team that will work together to offer chiropractic care and physical therapy to reduce pain and stabilize the muscles that support the spine. Contact us today for your free consultation!