Back Pain: How to help your child cope with the pain?
Back pain is the most common form of spams a child may experience. Various activities can trigger annoying spasms around the back area.
Some of the reason that can trigger the back pain are:
- Pain or discomfort in the upper, mid or lower back: The pain may gradually increase around the upper mid or lower back of the body and may become a bit difficult to tolerate.
- Minor muscle strain from overuse and back injury are included: A child may strain the muscles when playing or performing other physical activities. The pain may not be felt at the very instant but may progress gradually.
General causes of back pain:
Back pain primarily stems from excess physical activities and strained muscles. Following are few usual causes:
- Strained Back Muscles. New backaches in teens are mostly from strained back muscles (muscle overuse). The pain is mostly in the lower back and near the center. There are 200 muscles in the back that allow us to stand upright.
- Work Triggers. Carrying something too heavy or lifting from an awkward position can cause back pain. Bending too far backward or sideways can cause back pain. Digging in the garden for too long causes overuse of back muscles.
- New exercises or changes in an exercise routine can cause back pain. This is also called muscle overuse.
- Back Packs. In school-age children, heavy backpacks have become a common cause. They also can cause shoulder and neck pains. Children who have not gone into puberty are at greater risk. Reason: They lack the muscle mass.
It is important to determine the severity of the pain and then a followup. Following are few scenarios:
- Pain starts after major injury (such as a car crash or football). Caution: do not move your child until a spine board is put on.
- You think your child has a life-threatening emergency.
Go to and ER now(Severe to Moderate)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control and follows back injury
- Can't pass urine or can only pass a few drops
- Can't walk or can barely walk
Call your Doctor(Moderate)
- Unbearable pain
- Pain shoots into the buttock or back of the thigh
- Tingling or numbness (loss of feeling) in the legs or feet
- Blood in urine
- Pain or burning when passing urine and fever
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent
- Walks different than normal for more than 3 days
Care and Advice
Back pain is annoying. The pain restricts your physical activities. Following are few guidelines to help your child cope with the back pain:
- Pain Medicine:
- Cold Pack for Pain:
- For pain or swelling, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth.
- Put it on the sore muscles for 20 minutes.
- Repeat 4 times on the first day, then as needed.
- Reason: Helps with the pain and muscle spasms.
- Caution: Avoid frostbite.
- Use Heat After 48 Hours:
- If pain lasts over 2 days, put heat on the sore muscle.
- Use a heat pack, heating pad or warm wet washcloth.
- Do this for 10 minutes, then as needed.
- Reason: Increase blood flow and improve healing.
- Caution: Avoid burns.
- Sleep on the Side:
- Sleep on the side with a pillow between the knees.
- If your child only sleeps on the back, put a pillow under the knees.
- Avoid sleeping on the stomach.
- The mattress should be firm. Do not sleep on a waterbed.
- Avoid any sports or work that increase the pain.
- Avoid lifting or jumping until well.
- After 48 hours, start gentle back stretching exercises.
- Complete bed rest is not needed.
- Prevent Backpack Pain:
- Limit the weight of what is carried. It needs to less than 15% of body weight. That means a 100-pound (45 kg) child should not carry more than 15 pounds (7 kg).
- A sign of carrying too much weight is having to lean forward when walking.
- Buy a well-made backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps.
- Never carry the pack on just one shoulder. Reason: causes shoulder and neck pain.
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.