Back pain in children


It is unusual for children to have back pain, but it is more common in puberty when the child grows a lot in length. Back pain in children is usually mild and goes away by itself. In more severe conditions, corset or surgical treatment may be needed.

It is often not possible to find a safe cause of back pain, but in children who grow up, the pain is most often associated with uncomfortable strenuous movements, for example in heavier body activities. Prolonged sitting can also cause back pain, especially if the child sits in a leaning forward position. In more rare cases, the cause may be disk hernias or inflammatory spinal disease.

Symptoms of back pain in children

Back pain is most common in long and narrow teenagers. It usually hurts either in the chest or lower back, in much the same way as in adults. The problems are usually mild or moderate. They usually come in periods and usually disappear by themselves after some time.

When and where should I seek care

Contact a health care provider if any of the following is true:

  • The child has such a sore back that it avoids moving.
  • The child has recurrent back pain or has been in pain for several weeks.

If it’s in a hurry

Contact a health center or emergency room if the child has a fever or shortness of breath associated with back pain. If closed, seek care at an emergency room.


You may meet a doctor, physiotherapist, physiotherapist, naprapathy or chiropractor who performs a physical examination of the child. Sometimes a doctor may need to x-ray his back if the child has had a lot of pain for a long time or if they find something abnormal in the body examination.

Treatment of back pain in children

The child usually gets the advice to avoid things that trigger the pain. Being in motion is generally good for your back. The child can participate in as much physical activity as it can without the hassle getting worse. Letting go of gymnastics in school is not a good solution in the long run. Physical therapy may be needed, it can strengthen the child’s fitness and strength in the back muscles and abdominal muscles. Swimming can be a suitable form of exercise.

Teenagers who exercise a lot, for example at the gym or in various sports, often get back problems. They are usually caused by an incorrect and sometimes ambitious exercise program. It is good to try to find a more reasonable level of sports activity if the problems do not get better after the training program has changed. The child should be examined if the symptoms of back pain in children are severe and prolonged.

You should understand the information

In order for you to be involved in your care and treatment of back pain in children, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare personnel. Ask questions if you don’t understand. For example, you should get information about treatment options and how long you may have to wait for care and treatment of back pain in children.

If you need tools, you should get information about what is available and how to get it.


Between the vertebrae in the spine are so-called disks of cartilage that are important for the mobility of the spine. They also act as shock absorbers. If a disc breaks, it can bulge and push against the nerve roots in the back. Dishwashing can occur from adolescence and upwards in ages.


The symptoms are usually more unclear and difficult to interpret in children than in adults, and sometimes it takes a long time before the diagnosis is made. The child may have lower back pain that radiates to one or both legs. The back muscles are often very tense and the back can be oblique. Sometimes the symptoms of a herniated disc can be manifested by the child walking in a different way, often with a bent knee and hip joints. The child no longer usually takes the steps completely. 

Treatment of disk hernias

Disk hernias in children are treated with physical therapy.

Congenital oblique in the neck

Congenital osteoporosis is quite common in newborns and is due to tightness in one side of the neck muscle. Tightness causes the head to bend towards the sick side and turn to the healthy side. It usually hits the right side.


The symptoms are usually detected a few days after delivery. The muscle on one side of the neck can be swollen. The swelling is not sore. The swelling becomes larger in a few weeks and disappears within six months. The misalignment and tightness of the muscle can remain if the condition is not treated or goes back on its own.

Treatment of congenital osteoporosis

Congenital osteoporosis is treated with physical therapy. The physiotherapist can advise on stretches that you can do yourself at home.

For example, you can stretch the tight neck muscle several times daily, for example in connection with a diaper change. You do this by gently bending the baby’s head towards the healthy side and turning the face towards the side where the tight muscle sits. Most often, these tensions produce a good result. You can also have the child face something interesting when awake so that it looks toward the side where the tight muscle sits.

Surgery may be necessary if it is not possible to correct the problems on your own. Then an incision is made in the tight muscle which makes it longer.

Round back

In connection with the rapid growth during puberty, some teenagers usually hang with their backs and bring their shoulders together. It is most common in long and narrow children and rarely occurs in short children with more developed musculature.

Treatment of round back

Attitude is improved by itself in most cases. The condition does not hurt and requires no special treatment. General physical activity is good for training the back muscles.

One problem for these children may be that parents and relatives complain that they are stretching, which can lead to conflicts. If your back looks straight after the baby has stretched, you need not worry about something being wrong or having any consequences in adulthood.

Scheuermann’s disease

Scheuermann’s disease shows itself as stiff cushion security and because the child can not straighten his back. The disease is quite common and usually occurs in boys. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 12 and 17 in connection with puberty.

What is it?

The child becomes vertebrate due to some vertebrae in the chest being wedge-shaped on the front. This causes the back to change shape and become rounder. The reason why the vertebral bodies become wedge-shaped in this way is unknown, but there is some inheritance. The changes can also be found in the lumbar spine.

Symptoms of Scheuermann’s disease

Most are completely trouble-free while others sometimes feel some fatigue and pain in the part of the back where the wedge-shaped vertebrae are located. The symptoms are usually more common during the first years of the disease and when the disease is in the lumbar spine.

Treatment of Scheuermann’s disease

Most people do not need treatment. If the child is very cushy, corset treatment may be appropriate. In this case, the corset should be worn for at least one to two years, 24 hours a day. Surgery may be needed if the child has very severe problems, but it is very rare.

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