Back pain in children may be caused by a variety of different conditions. However, young children (<10 years) usually do not complain of back pain. Any complaint needs to be investigated by a health professional and possible causes include childhood tumours, and infections of the bones, muscles or tissues. These may be serious issues that need prompt management.
Older children (<10 years) are more likely to have mechanical causes for their back pain, which is similar to adults. These may be due to certain activities or prolonged positions such as sports, carrying a heavy backpack or poor posture. Conditions associated with mechanical back pain in childhood include Scheurmann’s disease, spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of one vertebra over anther), spondylolysis (a defect in the segment of bone joining the facet joints), disc injuries and scoliosis. These need to be evaluated with a physiotherapist for accurate diagnosis and management.
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