5 Reasons to Take Your Child’s Back Pain Seriously

While back pain is common in adults, teens and young kids are significantly more resilient and flexible, meaning they do not suffer from the same type of back injuries as adults. Medically significant back pain in children and teens is infrequently encountered, with even fewer cases in younger children. However, because children rarely suffer from back pain, complaints by a child or teenager about acute or chronic pain are taken very seriously by pediatricians. The most common reasons for back pain in children tend to be age-dependent. The younger a child is, the more significant concern for the possibility of a serious condition if they are experiencing back pain. Therefore, if your child is experiencing persistent back pain despite a lack of injury, it would be best to consult a spinal expert.

5 Reasons to Take Children’s Back Pain Seriously

Unlike back pain in adults, back pain in children may indicate a serious underlying disorder or condition. While most adults experience back pain at least once in their life, that is not the case with children. Adults who experience back pain are also more likely to find back pain relief at home with over-the-counter medications and lifestyle modifications. Children who experience back pain, especially if they have not sustained an injury, should be taken to their primary care physician as soon as possible. Below are five reasons to take your child’s back pain seriously.

1. Your Child May Be Suffering from Muscular Back Pain

Muscular back pain is the most common reason for back pain in children. This pain may arise from:

  • Muscle strain
  • Ligament strains
  • Posture problems
  • Injuries stemming from overuse

Fortunately, this type of back pain can often be treated with rest. However, if rest and at-home treatments don’t help, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s doctor about alternative treatments.

2. Your Child May Have Spinal Disc Problems

A disc herniation of the spine means that the soft cushion between the vertebrae is ruptured. The rupture forces the disc material out of its normal position and may push against the nerves and spinal cords. While herniated discs are much less common in children, when they occur, they can cause severe pain and symptoms.

3. Your Child May Be Suffering from Spinal Alignment Abnormalities

Spinal alignment problems may cause noticeable deformity along with back pain. However, while more subtle deformities may be noticeable, they don’t always cause pain.  The two most common spinal deformities in children are:

  • Scoliosis: a deformity that causes an S-shaped curve to the spine
  • Scheuermann’s kyphosis: a condition that causes a sharp bend in the spine

These two conditions differ, but treatments can be similar. Additionally, the more severe the deformity, the higher chance the child may need to wear a brace.

4. Your Child May Have an Infection

An infection of the spine can have significant consequences and requires prompt diagnosis. Fever, malaise, and soreness are typically indicators of a spinal infection. Most spinal infections are treatable with antibiotics. However, in rare cases, surgical treatment may be needed.

5. Your Child May Have a Tumor

Several types of benign and malignant bone tumors can occur in the spinal column. Sometimes they can cause significant pain. Other times, they don’t cause any symptoms. Spinal tumors are highly uncommon in children but must still be considered during diagnosis. Warning signs to keep an eye out for include:

  • Pain that occurs specifically at night
  • Generalized illness
  • Weight loss

Treatment for spinal tumors depends on the type of tumor. Cancerous spinal tumors often require a combination of treatments such as medication, radiation, and surgery. Even benign tumors may require surgery because an untreated tumor may lead to spine deformities.

Spinal Surgeons at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery Can Help Relieve Back Pain

At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we understand that each patient and their condition are unique, so we tailor our treatment plan process to ensure each patient gets the best treatment possible. Our medical team takes the time to understand your condition before recommending a treatment plan built around you and the needs of your condition. Schedule an appointment through our contact form or by calling (855) 853-6542.