Facts to help raise awareness of back pain
The aim of the week long event, is to raise awareness of the problems back pain can cause, as well as prevention and treatments. We wanted to look specifically at back pain in children….
Children as well as adults can experience back pain. This can be as a result of variable lifestyle factors and activities. It is important to seek advice from a medical professional, such as an Osteopath if your child is suffering with pain so they can establish what the cause is, advise on treatment or refer you for further examination if warranted. Manual therapy such as Osteopathy will help relieve the body of stresses and strains and assist in preventing the problem from reoccurring.
Workplace posture is a topic that is frequently addressed with adults that suffer with back pain. Physical inactivity and incorrect posture while sat working on a computer or a laptop can predispose a person to developing muscular strain and restricted joints, leading to pain. Modern society has seen children spending more time using electronics such as laptops, smartphone and tablets and like adults at work, children will find themselves in unnatural postures for extended periods of times. To avoid your child suffering with neck or back pain it is advised that you place time limits on the use of such electronics. Regular breaks, lifting the laptop with a support and elbow rests are also encouraged.
Another element that plays a role in back pain experienced in children is the regular use of heavy bags containing books, P.E. Kits, musical instruments for example. Limiting the weight the child carries will cause less strain though the musculoskeletal system and if possible investing in a backpack with quality straps that can evenly distribute the load across the shoulders and a chest strap to keep the weight as close to the body as possible.
Physical activity level, as with adults is another common factor in developing back pain. A sedentary lifestyle will result in a lack of general muscular tone. Core musculature is a key element in supporting the spine and regular physical activity will help build this up. Active play, swimming, cycling, running, team sports such as football and netball will help keep your child in optimum spinal health. However, rest is equally as important. Quality sleep is important for your child’s mental as well as physical health. A firm but comfortable mattress and a pillow that supports the head and neck without lifting it too high is also advised.