Low Back Pain in Children

Posted on Sep 7, 2017


What are some potential causes of low back pain in children? Kids tend to wear backpacks, participate in sports, and physically grow bigger– all of which can impact the way their back feels and functions as they age.

There are two “big word” things that could happen to children’s backs: spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. Spondylolysis involves a defect of the joint between vertebral bones. It may or may not involve a stress fracture injury. Oftentimes young gymnasts deal with this particular problem, which is typically agitated thanks to hyperextending the back a lot. Thus, if your child bends backwards for sports, they could have spondylolysis. Spondylolisthesis involves one vertebra slipping upon another– with back pain being a result.

If and when a child is playing extreme sports where they land hard on parts of their bodies, those moments of impactful force can fracture or damage vertebrae/intervertebral discs.

Should disc material extrude out of its normal position, spinal cord nerve roots can become compressed resulting in sciatica– nerve pain that can occur in the buttocks as well as down the back of the legs.

Children may also experience bacterial infections of the spine and spinal tumors.

Disc degeneration isn’t typically associated with children, but here’s the thing: it can develop at a young age. “Juvenile disc disorder” can start thanks to an injury or, perhaps, it’s genetic. This problem involves weak end plates of the vertebrae. Protrusions of disc cartilage end up agitating the end plate and/or vertebra causing low back pain.

One of the major reasons children end up seeing a chiropractor for low back pain stems from an all-too-common thing: backpacks. These days kids going to school often find themselves carrying ultra-heavy, book-loaded backpacks. Their little spines can’t easily handle all that weight and pressure! Thus, children’s backs get strained to the point where they’re hurting and need chiropractic adjustments.

Indeed, low back pain tends to come from overuse or strain. Basically, children experience some soft tissue damage regarding their ligaments, tendons and/or muscles. They may also experience a subluxation, which is a fancy word that means something is dislocated, like their spinal joint(s) or ligaments.

Chiropractors, like Dr. Gerard of Lakewoods Chiropractic, don’t just limit their practice to adults. If you have a child in your life who is experiencing low back pain, call 651-464-0800 to make an appointment for a chiropractic consultation with Dr. Gerard.

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