Like adults, children can suffer from back pain as a result of a variety of lifestyle activities. And like adults, there are 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. At our clinics, our osteopaths can help to establish the cause of the problem and will provide advice on treatment, or refer your child 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 the their body. Packing the bag with the heaviest items (such as laptops and heavy books) closest to child’s body, will also make carrying more comfortable and less likely to strain the muscles of the back. For more in depth information about this, please read our article on children and school bags: Choosing the right school bag for your child
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 your children spend using devices and encouraging regular breaks may help to avoid problems. If your child has to use a laptop for homework ensure that they do so at a proper desk or table and consider purchasing a support that elevates the screen to a height that allows them 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. Our osteopaths can advise you on which mattress and pillow would best suit your child.
Osteopathic Treatment for your child’s back pain
Your child’s back pain may benefit from osteopathic treatment. Using gentle manual therapy, our osteopaths can help to resolve any stresses and strains that are affecting their body and relieve their pain. They can also provide important lifestyle advice that may help to prevent the problem from coming back. If you would like to discuss any issues that your child may be suffering from with one of our osteopaths, then please do contact us and we’ll be happy to help.