Lower Back Pain In Children – Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment Options

by Dheeraj Prarthi
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Lower back pain in children is often caused by an injury that occurred during sports or other physical activity. It can also occur when a child falls down or twists his/her spine.


Back pain is a well-known cause of trouble in adults, but it is also being diagnosed more commonly in children and teenagers. Most parents don’t suspect unless healthy children to accuse of back pain—a problem usually correlated with middle age or later. Still, back pain has been found to happen in between 14% and 24% of children and teenagers. Some causes of back pain that may be general in kids involve higher body weights of children and greater rates of obesity, higher strength and year-round sports activities, and the growing importance of backpacks worn by scholars at school.

Some of the concerns of back pain involve identifying when the problem might be more severe than a simple ache and knowing when specific imaging tests might be suitable. That said, there are warning symptoms to look for to help sense when a back pain problem may be more dangerous in a younger person.

This article will help parents understand what causes lower back pain in children and how they can treat it effectively

If your child has experienced lower back pain, he/she should see a doctor immediately. A visit to the pediatrician is usually sufficient to rule out serious underlying issues such as fractures or infections. However, if the pain persists beyond two weeks, it’s likely that your child needs further evaluation.

What Is The Cause Of Lower Back Pain In Children?

The cause of lower back pain in kids varies with age. It’s common for toddlers to suffer from lower back pain due to developmental changes in their bodies. As children grow older, other factors come into play. These include sports injuries, muscle strains, and even spinal stenosis.

What Are Some Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain In Kids?

There are several possible causes of lower back pain in young people. One of the most common is an injury sustained during sports activities. Other causes include muscle strain, spondylolisthesis (a condition where one vertebra slips forward on another), and spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the space between two adjacent vertebrae).

Warning Signs to Know :

Every sire whose kid is accused of back pain bothers that a more serious problem may be happening. While there are absolutely serious causes of back pain, the large majority of kids with back pain have signs that result from muscle or ligament sprain.

Some of the back pain caution signs to look out for more severe problems involve:

  • Night pain (particularly pain that wakes your child from sleep)
  • Persistent symptoms of anxiety
  • Signs of generalized sickness (fever, chills, discomfort, weight loss)
  • The back pain can make them seem distressed.
  • The back pain may influence your child’s capacity to play games or do PE.
  • You can sometimes distinguish activities that make the pain more serious, such as lifting and carrying, or make it better, such as rest. Sometimes the anxiety level increases for no apparent reason.
  • It can change the way they walk, twist, and move.
  • You might find a delicate spot in the center of their back.
  • You may also see that their back begins to look bent or curved.

What are the reasons for back pain in children?

These warning symptoms don’t certainly mean there is a more severe problem, but, they are a great screening test to decide if more evaluation should be continued. If the signs have been going on for some weeks, it’s best to assure the diagnosis is clear.

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One study explained that no reason for back pain could be detected in 78 out of 100 children, despite them having lots of tests. This doesn’t mean that severe causes should be ignored and it’s necessary to strike a balance between looking for dangerous conditions and restraining children to random and sometimes offensive tests.

Older children:

  • The stress on the muscles or ligaments of the spine due to a reappeared movement (for example, sports, dancing).
  • A slipped disc, Scheuermann’s illness (a condition in which irregular growth of the small bones (vertebrae) making up the spine produces curvature of the spine).
  • Vertebral fractures.
  • Spondylolisthesis (slippage of a vertebra frontwards or backward, usually a complexity of spondylolysis).
  • Ankylosing spondylitis.

Younger children and older children:

  • Infection – frequently in those aged under 10 years:
    • Discitis – infection of a disc.
    • Osteomyelitis.
    • Pyelonephritis.
    • Retroperitoneal infection – infection below the peritoneum, the membrane filling the abdominal cavity.
  • Unusually, tumors of the bone or spinal cord.
  • Congenital disorders – situations your child is born with (for example, scoliosis).
  • Infections affecting the whole body – for example, sickle cell disease.

When should my child consult a doctor?

Back pain is normal and often nothing to bother about. But, there are circumstances when you require to take your child to a specialist. There are several conditions in which your child should consult a doctor:

  • If they are below 4 years old.
  • If their back pain continues for longer than four weeks.
  • Their back pain obstructs them from doing anything.
  • If they feel sick and/or have a huge temperature (fever) or weight loss
  • If they begin increasing the curvature of the spine.
  • They begin accusing of stiffness or trouble moving.
  • If the pain is becoming more serious.
  • If they own pins and needles, paralysis, or dizziness.


What treatment opportunities are available for a child with back pain?

If the back pain is determined it’s important to examine the cause. Mild painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may help. Your child may be introduced to a physiotherapist who will guide you about any modifications which can be addressed to your child’s lifestyle to reduce the pain and stop it from occurring again. They may also produce many forms of physical treatment and recommend a course of exercises that can be done at home. If your child’s pain continues longer than 4-6 weeks, is getting more serious, or is characterized by unusual features such as a determined high temperature (fever) or anesthesia, they may be transferred to a specialist. If there is a severe cause, it is usually essential to begin treatment as soon as possible. The treatment recommended by the specialist will depend on the reason.

How Can You Treat Lower Back Pain In A Child?

If your child has lower back pain, there are several ways to treat it. First, make sure that he or she is not injured by having him or her lie down with his or her legs elevated. This will help reduce swelling and prevent further damage. Second, apply ice packs to the affected area. Third, give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed. Fourth, take your child to see a doctor who specializes in treating musculoskeletal disorders.

How to prevent lower back pain in children?

Keeping your child smiling and stress-free is often easier said than done, but mental health problems are known to be connected with back pain.

It turns out that when our mothers instructed us to stop slumping they were giving us helpful advice. Back pain can usually be bypassed by sitting and standing correctly. They are lifting accurately and dodging repeated actions that tighten the spine (such as over-exertion while sports) can also be effective.

Backpacks are frequently a cause of back pain in children. Make sure they are not too heavy and the weight is evenly distributed (for example, by taking the backpack on two shoulders preferably than one). If a locker is possible, assist your child to utilise it. Swimming is effective but there is little proof to recommend that other sporting activities counter back pain. Be conscious about the quantity of exercise your child does. Too much or too light can be painful. Also read, Severe lower back pain when walking or standing

Some more points to prevent back pain-

  • Recognize getting them an ergonomic chair to correct their posture while doing homework.
  • Make sure their lifestyle involves lots of exercise.
  • Stress the value of straight posture and daily stretching to powerful back and core muscles.
  • Decrease the risk of falls for younger children by regularly using safety straps in prams, strollers, and change tables.
  • Promote daily ‘walking and stretching’ breaks when completing homework, because lying for extended periods can fatigue back muscles.
  • Restrict television and computer sessions.

When Should I See My Doctor For Lower Back Pain In A Kid?

It’s important to seek treatment when your child experiences lower back pain because it can lead to more serious issues. If your child has lower abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or blood in his or her stool, call your doctor immediately. These symptoms could indicate appendicitis, an infection, or other serious illnesses.

FAQs about lower back pain in children:

Why is my child complaining of back pain?

Backpacks are frequently a reason for back pain in children. Make sure they are not too heavy, your child can be complaining of back pain because the pressure from heavy backpacks puts stress on their back that after some time will start painting.

What can cause lower back pain in a child?

Several reasons can cause back pain in a child for example- Stress on the muscles or ligaments of the spine because of repeated movement etc.

Is it normal for a child to have back pain?

It’s normal if the pain is not continued for several weeks.

When should I be concerned about back pain in my child?

If the pain extended for weeks or your child has problems sitting or standing because of back pain then you must take your child to a doctor.

Hope this article is helpful for you.

Thank You!

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