How to identify serious back pain in children

Much like adults who dismiss their pain as a part of aging, many children who have serious back pain are thought to just be experiencing normal growing pains. All too often, though, this isn't the case. Recently, the Journal of Orthopedic Surgeons published a literature review titled "Evaluation and Diagnosis of Back Pain in Children and Adolescents" that detailed the common causes of this pain in children in the interest of promoting correct diagnoses.

Pennsylvania-based physical therapist Heather Moore recently highlighted this literature review in her column on, explaining that children with back pain will often have problems that don't show up on diagnostic tests, x-rays or MRIs, and that pain is subsequently ignored or dismissed.

With how much kids these days use computers and phones, more time is spent hunched over in positions that are harmful to the spine. For this reason, back pain among children and adolescents has become extremely common. Nobody should have to live with that pain, least of all kids and teens, so here are some ways you can identify a serious problem in your child:

  1. Was your child recently injured? Back pain can be a result of trauma, so if your child has had any sort of injury lately, the subsequent pain is likely from that and should be immediately addressed by professional help.
  2. Is it getting worse? If the pain seems to be getting progressively worse and has lasted several days, this a big red flag that it's more of a serious issue than just simple growing pains.
  3. Is it accompanied by other symptoms? Back pain in children has different causes than in adults, and can be due to a serious underlying problem. For this reason, it can also be signaled by other symptoms like fever, weakness, numbness, weight loss, and bladder and bowel distress.

If your child is experiencing back pain, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.