Skip to content

    Back Pain in Children and Teenagers

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    Because children and teenagers are more flexible, back pain is not as common in this age group as it is in adults. Back pain in a child that occurs immediately after an injury or an athletic event should be checked by a doctor.

    Back pain in children and teens may also be caused by an overuse injury. Children or their parents may not be able to remember when the back problem started or to recall an injury or change in activity that triggered the back problem. Carrying a heavy backpack may increase a child's chances of a back problem or injury.

    Recommended Related to Back Pain

    Getting a Laminectomy: Before, During, and After

    Laminectomy is one of the most common back surgeries. During a laminectomy, a surgeon removes the rear portion of one or more spinal bones (vertebrae). Bone spurs and ligaments that are pressing on nerves may be removed at the same time. Here's what to expect before, during, and after your laminectomy.

    Read the Getting a Laminectomy: Before, During, and After article > >

    Back pain that is severe enough to limit a child's activity or that lasts for 2 weeks or longer needs to be checked by a doctor.

    Back conditions that affect children and teens

    • Pain that is made worse by specific movements, such as handsprings in gymnastics, the butterfly stroke in swimming, or contact sports, may be caused by spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. Young athletes with low back pain have a higher-than-average incidence of spondylolysis. These injuries are usually caused by activity and overuse.
    • Scheuermann's disease causes pain that is not severe enough to limit activity. It is the second most common cause of back pain in children and young adults. Your child may have a rounded spine.
    • A child who is awakened at night by pain may have an infection, arthritis, or tumor of the spine.
    • Back pain that is present with changes in balance or coordination may be caused by a problem in the brain or spinal cord.

    Children sometimes imitate the behavior and symptoms of adults and older children in the family. Symptoms may be caused by other problems they are having in the home or at school. When these problems are present, it is important to help the child and family find appropriate counseling and support.

    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: /2, 14 1
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Back Pain in Children and Teenagers Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.