Child and backache - which means child's back pain

Child and backache - which means child's back pain

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We usually associate back and back pain with the elderly. In fact, however, children also suffer from it (according to some studies, the percentage of children who experience this symptom at least once a year, reaches up to 50 percent), which is becoming a growing problem today. So what are the most common causes of backache in the pediatric population and how should parents behave if they occur in their child?

Causes of backache in children

Back pain, and more generally back pain can have whole a number of reasons, which largely depend on the child's age and lifestyle. Among them you can mention, among others:

  • Posture defects - both congenital (for example, fixed) scoliosis, or lateral curvature of the spine) and acquired (for example excessive deepening of thoracic kyphosis - round back - as a result of slouching and sitting in front of the computer for too long).
  • Injuries - children, due to their mobility, can quite often suffer various injuries resulting in back pain. In most cases, they are harmless muscle strains, but in some cases they can also be much more dangerous as a result of damage to the osseous-ligamentous apparatus of the spine.
  • Back overload - another of the common causes of back pain in children, especially those attending school. Underlying it usually lies too heavy backpack (the weight of the school bag should never exceed 15% of the child's weight) or staying too long in an uncomfortable, unsuitable position for the spine (for example, sitting at a computer or school desk for long periods of time).
  • Congenital or acquired abnormalities of the osseous-ligamentous apparatus of the spine - for example, vertebral fissure (abnormal connection between elements of the vertebrae, which results in chronic pain intensifying, especially when straightening the back), spondylolisthesis (displacement of the vertebrae relative to each other, which manifests itself in constant, slowly increasing pain in the spine, and in some cases also neurological symptoms), or Inflammation of the intervertebral disc (usually manifested by severe pain, tenderness at the height of the affected disc and refusal by the child to stand and walk).
  • Tumors pressing on the spine - 80% are benign (for example, cysts, hemangiomas). In addition to chronic pain, they also give neurological symptoms as a result of pressure on the spinal cord and nerves protruding from it.
  • Systemic diseases - among others ZZSK (ankylosing spondylitis) or JIA (juvenile idiopathic arthritis). These diseases have a very rich symptomatology, and their onset is usually associated with peripheral arthritis (knee, ankle or wrist joints). Symptoms from the spine are only added as the disease progresses.
  • Diseases of the abdominal organs - back pain may be secondary and result from a disease process that is taking place in the kidneys (e.g. pyelonephritis) or ovaries. In girls, this symptom may be one of the symptoms associated with menstruation.

How to deal with a child who has back pain?

A child's back pain is always a worrying symptom. This is particularly true when:

  • The pain is very strong and does not go away with over the counter painkillers.
  • Pain occurs in toddlers who are under 4 years old.
  • The pain lasts continuously for over a month.
  • Pain applies to the cervical spine.
  • The pain is accompanied by neurological symptoms (for example, muscle weakness or sensory disturbances in one of the limbs).
  • The pain is accompanied by general symptoms or other organs (e.g. fever, malaise, weakness or peripheral arthritis).
  • Pain wakes the child from sleep.

Absolutely in these cases an urgent visit to the doctor is required, who will decide what to do next. In others, however, the child should be relieved of, take care of his physical activity and make an appointment with his pediatrician.

To sum up, back and back pain in children is always a disturbing symptom and encourages a more or less urgent visit to a pediatrician and take care of the correct body posture and physical activity of their child.