Low back pain in children

Low back pain in Children

Not many people know this, but low back pain (LBP), a particularly common phenomenon amongst adults, is considered the world’s most disabling condition [1]. For a long time it has been uncommon in children, however there has been a global rise in the incidence of LBP in children, particularly adolescents [2]. What is also worrisome is that children who develop LBP at a young age are more likely to suffer from recurrent or chronic LBP later in life [2,3].

The consequences of developing LBP are far reaching: there’s a tendency to become (more) sedentary, meaning less physical activity, a decrease in quality of life, and in certain cases even psychological distress may develop [3].

It should come as no surprise that a lack of physical activity is one of the reasons why children develop low back pain. The world over, children spend more than 2 hours a day watching TV alone, not to mention the significant increase in time being a laptop, phone or tablet [4]. It is estimated that, on average, children spend around 8 hours per day sedentary – that means, not moving! That is not healthy! Irregular sleep patterns, heavy backpacks, and overweight/obesity are also contributing factors to developing low back pain. Overweight/obese children not only have an increased risk of developing LBP, but also subsequently have diminished physical and social functioning, which sets up a vicious cycle of less activity, more overweight and more dysfunction. As a consequence, degenerative changes one would expect to see in older adults, are appearing more frequently in these groups [5], a trend which his also disconcerting.

Chiropractic care is an effective, non-invasive and drug free method of reducing low back pain [6]. We do this restoring normal movement of the spine. At UMOYA Chiropractic we perform a Neuro-Functional Integration examination, which is specific to the age of the individual, to thoroughly assess the structure and function of the spine. By allowing the body to move more freely, as it is meant to, and from a young age, we help kids to live a more active and healthy life, avoiding the negative consequences of a life with pain.

Often times our care program also includes rehabilitative and strengthening exercises since decreased trunk muscle strength and flexibility also plays an important role in reducing and preventing LBP [7]. Targeted exercises at developing core strength and low back flexibility, such as those in pilates and yoga, are a great adjunct to our Chiropractic care. That is why we have partnered up with Everybody Pilates, who offers special pilates classes for children and young adults teaching them the importance of maintaining a good posture starting with core strength and stability, especially to be able to prevent postural problems and pain in later life. Children from age 7+ are taught simple exercises through play, education and creating body awareness which is lacking in so many people – young and old! Knowing more about your own body and the importance of it moving the way it should, allows one to incorporate this knowledge into everyday life, resolving and preventing problems from occurring later in life.

Are you interested in more information, have specific questions, or would you like a free consultation? Then contact us. We are happy to help you.

[1] Vos, T. et al., 2017. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet, 390(10100), pp.1211–1259. Available at: http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28919117

[2] Hwang, J. et al., 2018. Low back pain in children: a rising concern. European Spine Journal, pp. 1–3. Available at: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00586-018-5844-1

[3] Gunzburg, R. et al., 1999. Low back pain in a population of school children. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 8(6), pp.439–43. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10664300

[4] Hidding LM, Altenburg TM, van Ekris E, Chinapaw MJM. Why do children engage in sedentary behavior? Child- and parent-perceived determinants. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(7). doi:10.3390/ijerph14070671

[5] Samartzis A, Dino Samartzis B, Karppinen J, et al. Title A population-based study of juvenile disc degeneration and its association with overweight and obesity, low back pain, and diminished functional status A Population-Based Study of Juvenile Disc Degeneration and Its Association with Overweight and Obesity, Low Back Pain, and Diminished Functional Status. Cit J Bone Jt Surgery-Series A. 2011;7:662-670. doi:10.2106/JBJS.I.01568

[6] Hayden JA, Mior SA, Verhoef MJ. Evaluation of chiropractic management of pediatric patients with low back pain: A prospective cohort study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2003;26(1):1-8. doi: 10.1067/mmt.2003.11

[7] Evans R, Haas M, Schulz C, Leininger B, Hanson L, Bronfort G. Spinal manipulation and exercise for low back pain in adolescents. Pain. 2018;159(7):1297-1307. doi:10.1097/j.pain. 0000000000001211

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