Back Pain in Children

A study reveals that up to 15% of children aged 11 to 14 years old have back pain. This is a startling statistic and one that all parents should be aware of. 

Back pain in children can be caused by a variety of factors, including incorrect posture, obesity, and excessive physical activity. But no matter the cause, the effects can be long-lasting and debilitating.

In this blog post, we will look at the causes and treatments of back pain in children, as well as offer tips on how to prevent it. We will also discuss how to recognize when your child might be suffering from back pain and when to seek medical help. 

By understanding the causes and treatments for back pain in children, we can ensure that our kids have a healthy, active childhood.

What are the common causes of back pain in children?

Back pain in children is a common problem that many parents worry about. While it may be concerning, in most cases, it is not serious and can be managed conservatively. Here are some of the common causes of back pain in children:

  • Poor posture 

Children often spend a lot of time sitting and playing with their gadgets, leading to poor posture and back pain. To prevent this, it is important to educate children about the importance of good posture and to make sure they are sitting up straight. Check out our article about 5 tricks to teach your children good posture.

  • Carrying excess weight  

If a child is overweight, it can put strain on their back, leading to pain. To help prevent this, it is important to make sure that children are eating healthy, balanced meals and getting regular exercise.

  • Overuse of muscles 

Kids tend to be active and may not realize they are pushing their muscles too hard. To help prevent this, it is important to encourage children to take breaks and to practice proper form when they are engaging in physical activities.

  • Growing pains 

Growing pains typically affect the legs, but they can also cause back pain. To help reduce the pain, children should take warm baths, use a heating pad, and get regular exercise.

  • Disc degeneration 

Disc degeneration is a normal part of aging, but it can be accelerated by obesity and poor posture. To help prevent this, it’s important to encourage children to maintain a healthy weight and to practice good posture.

Red Flags for Back Pain in Children

While back pain is often a sign of growing pains or overexertion, it can also be an indication of an underlying medical condition. It is important to be aware of the potential red flags that may indicate a more serious issue, such as:

  • If the back pain is accompanied by fever or associated with an infection as this can be a sign of a more serious condition.
  • If the child’s back pain is severe or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as weight loss, weakness, or nausea.
  • If the pain is localized to one area, such as the lower back, and is not relieved by rest or activity. This could be a sign of a structural problem such as scoliosis or spinal stenosis.
  • If the pain is chronic, or lasts for more than three months, this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.

If your child is experiencing any of the signs above, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can help diagnose the cause of your child’s back pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

How to treat back pain in children?

There are a number of treatment options available to help reduce back pain in children and improve function. 

  • Exercise 

Exercise can help strengthen the muscles in the back and improve flexibility, reducing the strain on the back and reducing pain. A physician or physical therapist can recommend specific exercises to help reduce pain and improve function. 

  • Physical therapy 

Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for back pain in children. A physical therapist can teach a child exercises to help reduce pain and improve function. Physical therapy can also help improve posture and reduce the strain on the back. 

  • Bracing 

A brace may be recommended to help reduce pain and improve function. A brace helps provide support to the back and can reduce the strain for the back. A physician can recommend the appropriate brace for a child depending on their condition. 

  • Pain management 

If a child’s back pain is severe, a physician may recommend a combination of medications to help reduce pain and improve function. This may include over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or prescription medications such as muscle relaxants.

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Get Help For Your Child’s Back Pain Issues – Visit Dr. Matthew Hepler, Pediatric and Adult Spine Specialist

If your child is experiencing back pain, it’s time to take action. Dr. Hepler is a leading South Florida spine surgeon with fellowship training in both adult and pediatric spine surgery. 

He has a subspecialty interest in complex spine reconstruction and treats all spine conditions including disc herniations, scoliosis, flatback syndrome and more. 

Don’t let your child suffer in pain any longer – visit one of our clinics near you for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment: 

Make sure your child’s spine health is taken care of and get them back to a pain-free life! Contact us today.


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.