Dealing with back pains and aches seems like such an adult problem, but teenagers often face that same discomfort. As a parent, there is plenty you can do to help your child work through this. Even if your teenager doesn't currently suffer from back pain, you can help him form these healthy habits to avoid the problem in the future:
Teenagers are notorious slouchers. That problem is exacerbated when they spend most of their day in uncomfortable school desks. Spending that much time with a hunched spine can lead to back pain, so it's important to teach your teen tips to help him sit and stand up straight throughout the day.
Lighten the backpack load
Your teen can use proper posture all day at school, but if she's wearing a heavy backpack all day, that can easily cause her distress.
"Wearing a backpack incorrectly or wearing one that's too heavy can be a contributing risk factor for discomfort, fatigue, muscle soreness, and pain, especially in the lower back," Karen Jacobs, a clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University and expert on school ergonomics and healthy growth and development of school-age children, told Everyday Health.
Make sure your teenager isn't carrying too much in her backpack. Everyday Health suggests that it shouldn't weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of your teen's body weight. You should also adjust the straps so the backpack rests against her back and encourage her to wear both straps at all times.
Work out wisely
If your teen is an athlete, an injury could result in serious back pain. Make sure he's stretching properly before each game or practice and playing safely to avoid a dangerous impact. On the other hand, if your child isn't getting enough exercise, that sedentary lifestyle can contribute to back pain. Encourage him to engage in more physical activities on a regular basis to relieve the discomfort.
If your teen is suffering from back pain, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.