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Why Does Your Child Have Back Pain?

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Back pain is not just a condition that impacts adults. Young children and teens can also experience back pain. If your child is complaining of back pain, it is imperative that you do not ignore him or her. There could be a serious underlying reason for the pain. Here is what you need to know about back pain and your child.  

What Is the Cause of Back Pain?

Just as the source of back pain for adults can vary, it also can for children. Your child's back pain could be the result of physical activity, such as sports. If your child is carrying a heavy backpack throughout the school year, it could be to blame.  

Even though there is usually a simple reason for why your child is experiencing back pain, there is a possibility that something more serious is causing it. For instance, infection and bone tumors can sometimes lead to pain. A traumatic incident, such as a fall or car accident, might also cause pain.  

What Can You Do?

The most important step you can take is to have your child professionally evaluated by his or her doctor. Your child's doctor can use a host of tests, including imaging tests, to determine the source of the back pain. He or she can also give you a referral to a specialist, if necessary.  

Once the doctor has identified the source of the pain, he or she can determine if medical intervention is necessary. The recommended treatment depends on the reason for the back pain. For instance, if infection is the cause, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics and rest until the infection has cleared.  

In some cases, surgery might be necessary. For instance, if the pain is the result of a stress fracture and rest and over-the-counter pain relievers are not helping to alleviate the pain, surgery could be recommended. The doctor would perform a spinal fusion to repair the fracture.  

What If Medical Intervention Is Not Required?

If the doctor believes the reason for the back pain is physical activity or carrying a heavy backpack, he or she might recommend resting the back. Cutting back on the level of physical activity your child participates in or lightening the backpack load are also important.  

If your child's back pain worsens or he or she develops other symptoms, consult with the doctor immediately. Signs to look for include fever, trouble walking, bladder problems, and weakness. All of these could be a sign of a more serious condition.