While many people think of back pain as a problem that only affects adults and seniors, this couldn’t be further from the truth. These days, an alarming number of children suffer from regular lower back pain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal discomfort.
In fact, one study has reported that up to one-third of teenagers get back pain at least once a month. Up to a quarter of those children even suffer such severe pain that they’re forced to miss school.
If your child has been complaining of aching and discomfort in their back, neck, or spinal area, it’s natural to be worried. However, you should note that many of the common causes of childhood back pain can be prevented, reduced, or even completely alleviated.
Here are two of the biggest reasons why children get back aches along with tips on how to prevent them.
1. A Heavy, Improperly-Fitted Backpack
School backpacks are thought to be one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal pain. This is even more true if your child walks to and from school every day, as they may spend up to an hour carrying their backpack. However, the backpack itself isn’t always the problem — it’s the way it’s worn.
Many kids think carrying a backpack slung over one arm looks cool, but it could actually be what gives them a back ache. The weight of your child’s backpack should always distributed evenly. Putting all the weight on one shoulder can lead to poor posture, which then causes muscular strain—one of the most common back pain causes.
In addition, the bag’s straps should be adjusted so that the backpack sits high on your child’s back without swaying, positioned at least two inches above the hips.
On top of that, the contents of the backpack should not be too heavy. At most, a school backpack should weigh 10 percent of your child’s body weight. If your child’s bag weighs more than this, ask their teacher if they can keep some of their books in the classroom so they don’t have to carry them to and from school every day.
2. Poor Posture While Gaming
These days, almost all children play video games in their free time. If your child is one of them, their posture while gaming could be the cause of their back pain.
When a child or teenager is absorbed in their favourite game, they may sit hunched over, leaning towards the television for long periods of time. Some children even game for hours without a taking a break. Just like with carrying backpacks on one shoulder, sitting with bad posture for long periods of time can lead to muscle strain in the lower back.
If gaming is responsible for your child’s sore back, the best way to alleviate their pain is to reduce the amount of time they spend gaming non-stop. Encourage your child to take a break every hour or so and spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching lightly or walking around. This gives the muscles time to rest and rejuvenate between sessions.
You could also treat your child to an ergonomic gaming chair. Now that gaming has become such a popular pastime, multiple specialised gaming chairs are on the market that support the spine and encourage blood flow.
If your child still experiences back pain after trying these solutions, consider chiropractic care. Chiropractors use a range of natural, child-safe techniques to adjust and correct the spinal misalignments which could lead to soreness and put pressure on the nervous system. To see a chiropractor experienced in treating children of all ages, contact Rasura Chiropractic.