The Most Common Types of Back Problems in Kids

Let’s face it: sometimes, kids are melodramatic. They try to get out of doing something or want attention. But how do you know when to brush it off and when to take them seriously? Here is a list of the three most common types of back problems in kids and what to do about them.

Muscle Strain

Muscle strains are one of the most common types of back problems in kids and are luckily the easiest to treat. Muscle strains are prevalent with all active adults, not just kids. Repetitive activities or physically demanding movements typically cause them; kids could easily tweak a muscle while playing or moving too quickly. A true muscle strain is a short-term injury that will heal in a week.

What to Do:

Rest is the best medicine for muscle strains. Follow the R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method to limit inflammation and promote healing for more painful circumstances. If the injury is from an overuse activity, investigate ways of easing back into it, so they don’t get hurt again. 

types of back problems in kids

Disc Problems

Spinal discs are cushions in between each vertebra. Issues arise when the discs shift out of place. The disc ends up pressing on a nerve, thus causing a lot of pain for the child across multiple parts of the body. Your kid may report pain and tingling down the leg, numbness around the nerve, and limited mobility of the leg and the spine.

What to Do:

If you suspect that your child has pain from a herniated disc, see your doctor ASAP. Your first step in treatment will probably be physical therapy. Usually, disc problems don’t need surgery.

Structural Abnormalities

Just because a child has an alignment issue with their spine doesn’t mean they always experience pain. Scoliosis is the most common type of spinal deformity that children face. It can be excruciating for some to experience. Sometimes you can spot the anatomy of scoliosis, but other times a school nurse might find it first.

What to Do:

Whenever any structural malfunction happens to the body (primarily, the spine), it is vital to get it checked out by your doctor right away. These can lead to other issues when the body tries to compensate for its lack of mobility.

These days, parents don’t need to worry about abnormal spinal problems their kids may face. You have the resources to make informed decisions and seek care when needed.


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