What is Back Pain?

Back Pain is a condition that in the past has most commonly been associated with adults; however, changes in our community’s lifestyle mean that more and more children and adolescents are reporting discomfort in their backs.

What causes back pain?

There are many common causes of back pain in children and these include daily habits and activities. Some contributing factors are :

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  • School Bags: especially when they are carried incorrectly,  are too heavy or are poorly designed.  Ask our physiotherapist for advice on the best school bags and how to pack them properly.
  • Posture: for example ‘slouching’, slumping and asymmetry.  Poor posture can lead to pain reduced concentration, fatigue and reduced confidence. Our physiotherapists will be able to assess your child and provide exercises to address any muscle imbalance that may be making it difficult to keep a good posture.
  • Sitting: for too long or on the wrong furniture.  Our physiotherapist will advise you about sitting postures and positioning of equipment, such as computers.
  • Exercise: not taking enough, or using the wrong techniques can cause muscle pulls or ligament strains, resulting in back pain.  Physiotherapy techniques can promote healing and return to function.
  • Diet: too much junk food will cause weight gain, which places extra stress on the body and does not provide the body with the necessary nutrients for healthy bones and joints.
  • Growing up: Periods of rapid growth can cause back problems.  Physiotherapy exercises can often help address any muscle imbalance associated with growth.

Contact your GP straight away if:

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  • your child is under 10 years old and there is no clear reason for their back pain (eg a fall)
  • your child has any other symptoms, for example, a fever, bladder or bowel dysfunction, changes in sensation (eg numbness or pins and needles) or decreased strength in the arm or leg.
  • the pain wakes your child from sleep.

What Therapies for Kids can do

If your child’s back pain does not settle, then an assessment by a physiotherapist at Therapies for Kids may be warranted. Our team of physiotherapists can provide a thorough assessment of your child’s symptoms in order to establish the potential reason for the pain.

Our paediatric physiotherapists can :

  • address the underlying cause of the  joint pain such as weak or tight muscles or poor posture if the cause is musculoskeletal
  • provide advice on pain management techniques
  • provide exercises to strengthen muscles
  • give advice on injury prevention
  • give advice on stretches
  • give advice for a home exercise programme
  • give advice for schools and seating

If the cause of the pain is not identifiable, our physiotherapist may recommend a referral back to your doctor.

What you can do

You can assist your child to do their home exercise programme, monitor their posture and time in sitting positions. Provision of regular breaks from sitting at computers,  for example, can be accompanied by gentle exercise to reduce strain. This can become a healthy routine for the entire family.

Gentle physiotherapy exercises can help reduce pain and stiffness.

  • At Therapies for Kids, we can offer advice and strength training programmes to assist your child if they are suffering from back pain
  • They can join our Fizzy fitness groups for strength training or have individual sessions if needed.


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