- Stress fracture(s) in the low back (spondylolysis)
- Instability or a forward shift of the lower spine above the tailbone (spondylolisthesis)
- Poor posture - like slouching forward
- Overuse injuries from poor conditioning or overtraining
- Disc herniation
To me this basically means that two thirds of injuries to the children are likely to be due to posture, too much/too little training or exercise. All of these can be easily dealt with and likely prevented in the first place if they were functioning well and did appropriate exercise, stretching etc.
How to help prevent these injuries
To help prevent or minimize back pain, Dr. Shah encourages patients to:
- Maintain proper posture;
- Maintain good core muscle strength, flexibility and aerobic conditioning;
- Exercise regularly to avoid a sedentary lifestyle; and,
- Avoid frequent use of heavy backpacks, and always wear both backpack straps to better distribute the weight of the load.
If your child is experiencing back problems, make sure you have them assessed properly to help rule out any underlying dysfunction. They can then get started working on proper posture, core strength and flexibility to help prevent future problems.
There are a few other key points to cover here as well.
- If your child (or anyone) is experiencing weakness, numbness or pain that extends into the legs, or pain that wakes you at night, or pain that is getting worse, you need to get it assessed quickly. These signs can be linked with more serious problems.
- The last point above regarding backpacks is an important one since children will be heading back to school shortly. You don’t want to create imbalances by carrying the bag on one shoulder all the time. Make sure they use both straps and have the bags packed correctly. You can read a previous post I have written on backpacks here.
- Children often do a lot of sport these days. I recently wrote a post on how much sport is too much for kids. There is a certain number of hours per week that a child should stay under before it may become problematic ad starts to become detrimental to overall health. You can read it here.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2016, January 5). "Is your child's achy back more than just growing pains? ." Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/304684.php.