Muscular Back Pain – A few decades ago, back pain would have been an alarm for some dire disease. Doctors are less stressed about back pains in children now, though severe cases are treated seriously. Back pain in children is becoming common these days. Though the percentage is still less than adults, it is increasing day by day.
Muscular Back Pain Symptoms
- Short pains or pains that stay for a longer time.
- Start at the back but spread to arms or legs.
- It might hamper or cause physical discomfort while participating in physical activities.
- Fluctuating pain level, causing mild discomfort while resting but severe pain while doing specific tasks ( like lifting or running).
- There might be a tender spot on their back.
- It might cause numbness in strained areas of the body.
- It might cause bowel issues.
- Noticeable twists or curves in their posture
- Change of gait or roughness in movements.
- Fever (in some cases).
The symptoms and signs can vary depending on the age of the patient. It might also depend on the cause of the pain, whether it is injury, disease, or some other influence on the body. The diagnosis leans heavily on the reasoning behind the pain.
When to seek help –
- When the child is less than five years old
- When the pain continues for weeks or keeps getting worse
- If there is stiffness or discomfort in movement
- Disfiguration of the back (spine)
- If there is numbness in muscles or limbs.
Common Causes of Back Pain in Children
There might be various reasons for the occurrence of back pain in children. It also depends on what age group the child falls under. Unlike the older times, it is considered that most cases occur in the natural environment of a growing and physically active child. While some cases are severe, others can be diagnosed easily by an experienced doctor without any unpleasant tests.
For older children –
- A strain of muscles or ligaments of the spinal cord due to physical activities (like sports, dancing, or vigorous exercise).
- Scheuermann’s disease is when uneven growth of vertebrae occurs, causing disfiguring of the spine.
- Spondylolisthesis is when the vertebrae slip from their ideal position (forwards or backward)
- Tears (or mildly wear) in the spine, caused by rigorous sports (mostly).
- Ankylosing spondylitis (a chronic form of arthritis).
For younger children -best treatment for
- For children under the age of ten, infections like Discitis(an infection of intervertebral disc space), osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone), Pyelonephritis (kidney infection), Retroperitoneal infection (infection underneath the peritoneum), etc.
- Tumors of the spinal cord or bones
- Congenital diseases
Muscular Back Pain Treatment
Before doctors start any treatment, they will invest time in knowing the cause of the pain. They will also be asking for reports of any previous medical conditions. They might examine the patient for –
- The area of pain
- Any discomfort or change of natural gait of movement
- Tender spots on the back
- Any curvature or change of form of the spine
- Flexibility or ease of movements like bending forward or backward
- The nervous system for numbness.
If they feel it is necessary, doctors might ask for tests like blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans to be precise about the severity of the condition.
While the mild cases of pain can be fixed by painkillers as suggested by doctors and a little bit healthier change to their lifestyles, the serious ones are to be treated by specialists based on the cause and source of the pain. Sometimes, the effects stay behind even after treatment. The patients are under the constraint of performing limited physical activities.
However, like every disease, this can be prevented mostly by following a good posture and a healthy lifestyle. And by remembering that any activity performed too much might harm us.
Mehta Spine is a practice based in the UK and run by Mr. Jwalant Mehta. Being one of the finest spinal surgeons in the UK, he is the best when it comes to pediatric low back pain (back pain in children and adolescents). He is also known as the best spinal deformity surgeon in the UK.