Like adults, children can suffer from back pain as a result of their lifestyle and their activities. And like adults, there are a number of things that parents and carers can do to prevent issues arising.
If your child does complain of back pain, it is important to seek advice from a qualified professional, such as an osteopath. An osteopath will help to establish the cause of the problem and will provide advice on treatment, or refer you for further examinations if required.
Good school bags
Children are often required to carry bags full of books, PE kits, musical instruments and other equipment to and from school. Parents should try to limit the weight of school bags as much as possible and invest in a good quality back pack that the child should wear across both shoulders, ideally with a strap across the chest to keep the load close to their body. Packing the bag with the heaviest items (such as laptops and heavy books) closest to the child’s body, will also make carrying more comfortable and less likely to strain the muscles of the back.
Limit screen time
Looking down to use smart phones, tablets and laptops for an extended period can pull the back and neck into an unnatural posture, resulting in pain. Placing limits on the time spent using devices and encouraging regular breaks may help to avoid problems. If your child has to use a laptop for homework, consider purchasing a support that elevates the screen to a height that allows him or her to sit up straight to look at it.
A sedentary lifestyle is known to contribute to the risk of developing back pain, as well as contributing to obesity. Regular physical activity helps to keep the core muscles that support the spine strong and maintain flexibility, which will help to avoid back pain. Encourage lots of active play, walking, running, swimming, cycling etc to keep your child fit and healthy.
The right bed and pillow
Good quality sleep is vital for both physical and mental development. Make sure that your child has a good sized comfortable bed with a firm mattress and a pillow that supports their head without lifting it too high.
Osteopathic Treatment for your child’s back pain
Your child’s back pain may benefit from osteopathic treatment. Osteopathic techniques are suitable for children at all stages of development; I will assess your child to see what might help. I can also provide lifestyle advice that may help to prevent the problem from coming back. I work under the principle that there may be a number of contributing factors to the symptoms and will therefore evaluate not only the area which is producing the symptoms, but also associated areas that may be contributing to the issue, including past trauma, environmental factors and the family’s health history.