Child with an oversized backpackParents often ask us why today’s school children seem to have more back problems than previous generations. The answer is multifactorial and lies in numerous factors, all of which are generally easily treatable and preventable with the correct exercises and advice.

Fortunately, back problems in most children settle quickly once the correct advice is acted upon. If left untreated, back problems become chronic and more difficult to settle. It is important to address any problems in joint function and posture during the growing years to prevent any permanent damage to discs, ligaments and bones.

What leads to back pain in children?

  1. Poor Posture
    • a slouched standing posture is the ‘norm’ for today’s teenager and lounging about is seen to be ‘cool’, while sitting or standing correctly is not
    • teens do not like to be corrected on their bad posture
  2. Reduced Activity
    • more than ever, children do not walk to school, to music lessons, to the library or to other activities
    • increased participation in extracurricular activities puts time pressure on families and so it’s just not possible to get children to their activities in time without driving them
    • to minimise the weight our children carry they are often driven to school
    • safety is another factor that concerns parents and limits the places children may walk to and from
    • today, children’s home interests are heavily focused on sedentary pursuits rather than playing outside. It is rare to find a home without a television or a computer, and these occupy a disproportionate amount of the average child’s time
  3. Carrying Heavy Loads
    • school bags are often in excess of 10kg, as each subject requires a textbook, and changes of clothing and equipment are needed for sports and extra-curricular activities
  4. Laptops
    • laptops and tablets are increasingly used by school children in place of a desktop computer. Often they are used sitting on the floor, or curled up on a bed; these positions put the back and neck under an excessive amount of strain, especially when used for long periods of time

 

How Gordon Physiotherapy Sports and Spinal Can Help

Our physios will assess and treat your child’s back pain through:

  • helping your child understand what they are doing to make their back sore
  • recommending and providing posture aids
  • showing exercise routines aimed at correcting posture
  • identifying the possible causes of the problem (heavy backpack, poor set-up of computer)
  • offering practical advice to alleviate these causes
  • applying taping, in cases when awareness of bad posture is lacking

 

Products Stocked by Gordon Physiotherapy Sports and Spinal for Back Pain in Children

At Gordon Physiotherapy we stock the following products to strengthen your back and maintain good posture, all of which help to prevent back injury:

  • Swiss Balls
  • McKenzie Lumbar Rolls
  • Posture Wedges