‘Back pain and children’ is not a term that you’d think is common, but like adults, children do suffer from musculoskeletal pain as a result of a variety of lifestyle activities. Despite this though, there are number of things that parents and carers can do to prevent issues arising.
1. Good school bags
Children are often required to carry bags full of books, PE kits, musical instruments and other equipment to school. Parents should try to limit the weight of school bags as much as possible. Invest in a good quality back pack that your child can wear across both shoulders, keeping the load close to their body. Packing the bag with the heaviest items like books/laptops at the bottom, will make carrying more comfortable with less strain the to muscles. For more information about this, please read the following article: Choosing the right school bag for your child
2. 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.
3. Regular exercise
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.
4. 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.
5. Osteopathic treatment
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.