By Sara Castoldi
In a couple of day’s time, school is officially out for summer! And, with so much time off between now and the new school year, the summer holidays are the ideal time to get the children sorted.
Back and neck pain in children.
Just like us adults, children can of course suffer from back and neck issues too. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for parents to dismiss children’s moans and groans as nothing more than a knock or a bump. It’s really important though that you don’t ignore your child’s complaints of back or neck pain as it may be a warning sign of bigger problems later on in life.
As with adults, back pain in children can be the result of fairly innocuous, non-specific causes such as carrying an insufficient or overloaded backpack, poor posture or spending too long hunched over playing video games. However, unlike with adults, many causes of back and neck pain in children are related to growth and can indicate underlying issues that require further attention. Issues such as Scheuermann’s disease- a condition in which uneven growth of the vertebrae causes curvature of the spine – or Spondylolisthesis – where vertebrae slip out of place. Ensuring that such issues are identified and dealt with is key to avoiding longer-term problems and making issues worse.
As you’d expect, sport is also a common cause of back and neck pain in children. If your son or daughter is especially sporty, they’ll be at a higher risk of problems due to the greater amount of force and strain being regularly placed upon their joints and muscles. Making sure they get sufficient rest, wear and use the right equipment and warm-up properly before exercising are good ways to help avoid problems.
So, when should you consult an osteopath?
If your child is complaining about back or neck pain then it’s definitely worth speaking to an osteopath. We’d also recommend that you always look out for the following…
- Are they are walking differently?
- Does their spine have a curve in it? (i.e. do they slightly bend more towards one side than the other?)
- Does their head tilt more to a particular side?
- Have they suffered a significant fall or injury?
- Are they more fidgety than normal?
If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘yes’ it’s probably a good idea to speak with an osteopath. If you’d like to speak with a member of our team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Or, if you prefer, you can book a FREE consultation with us by clicking here.