Common Causes for Back Pain in Children

Children are constantly running around and often trip or fall. Naturally, they will get hurt and most of the time the pain goes away on its own. However, that’s not always the case. When a child begins to complain about back pain it’s important to keep an eye on them. If the child’s pain lasts longer than four to six weeks and seems to be getting worse, it’s time to consult a spine specialist. Getting a diagnosis is important to avoid long-term effects on the child’s back.

Back Pain Warning Signs to Look Out for in Children

Back pain can be caused by various conditions and situations, especially in children. Understandably, parents worry when their child is in pain. Most back pain will likely go away with time, at-home remedies, and rest. However, when the pain persists despite attempting to ease their pain, it’s time to consult a medical professional. Apart from pain lasting longer than a few weeks, other warning signs to look out for include:

  • Night pain (especially if the pain wakes the child up)
  • Constant pain throughout the day
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Malaise
  • Weight loss
  • Leg pain, numbness, or weakness

These symptoms do not automatically mean the problem is severe. However, it’s still important to see a doctor to rule out any major problems.

4 Common Causes for Back Pain in Children

Back problems in children result from their environment and activities. In severe situations, back pain may be the result of infections and diseases. Fortunately, most children who complain of back pain find that it goes away with rest and at-home care. Below is a list of six common reasons children may experience back pain.

Muscular Back Pain

Muscular back pain is the most common reason for back pain in children and teenagers. They may suffer muscle and ligament strains due to repetitive motion, sports, poor posture and even their backpacks. Backpacks that are heavier than a child’s back can support can have serious consequences for their back health.

Stress Fractures

The most common stress fracture that can occur in children is called spondylosis. Spondylolysis is a bone injury that occurs in the back of the spinal column. This injury is commonly seen in children participating in sports involving repetitive hyperextension such as bending backward.

Disc Problems

A disc herniation of the spine means that the soft cushion between two vertebrae is ruptured.  The disc material is forced out of its normal space and can push against the nerves and spinal cord, causing pain. Disc herniation is much less common in children than adults, but it is a serious problem when it occurs. Children may injury their disc due to excessive force or abnormal disc structure.


Spinal infections may cause various symptoms, including malaise, fevers, and back pain. Infections of the spinal bone or disc can be challenging to diagnose. A spinal specialist will be able to find the root cause of your child’s pain to ensure they get the treatment they need.

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery Can Help Treat Back Pain

Back pain can interrupt someone’s life. It can make it impossible or extremely painful to perform daily activities. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we understand how challenging a back injury or condition can be, which is why we are proud of our patient-centered approach that allows us to meet each of our patient’s unique needs. Our award-winning, board-certified medical team are leaders in their fields dedicated to getting patients back to their lives. Schedule an appointment here or call (855) 853-6542.

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