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Causes of Back Pain in Kids

Adults are well familiar with the pain and discomfort that middle back pain brings. This condition, however, is actually identified and diagnosed more frequently in children and teenagers. A lot of parents don’t expect their children to suffer from back pain – especially if their children are leading healthy lifestyles and are staying active.

Additionally, this type of pain is a common health concern associated with old age. Still, the fact remains that middle back pain is widespread in becoming a more and more common occurrence for children and adolescents. If you’re concerned about your child’s back pain, then you’re not alone.

 

According to a study published by the Journal of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, one in three adolescents suffer from back pain and are in need of medical treatment. And although parents are willing to get costly exams done such as an MRI scan to pinpoint the origin of the issue, the exact cause of middle back pain in younger people may not be apparent.

Symptoms

As you know, back pains are more common among adults. However, if your child reports grave or pain in their back that gradually worsens and lasts for several days, or pain that is linked to other symptoms such as the ones listed below, then it’s time to consult with a doctor:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Pain during the night or while they are resting
  • Difficulty to move
  • Trouble walking
  • Numbness or pain in the leg or foot
  • Weakness
  • Bladder or bowel issues

Diagnosing Back Pain

Upon visit, your pediatrician will check if your child is currently taking any medication. He or she will also check your child’s history of medical conditions and will check about your child’s middle back pain. Be prepared to answer if the pain started while your child is doing a particular activity or if it just came out of nowhere. Tell the doctor if there is anything that appears to make the pain better or worse, along with other symptoms that your child may be experiencing.

The following exams may also need to be done during your visit:

Physical Exam

Your pediatrician will carefully check your child’s spine, as well as how your child stands, walks, sits, and other range of motions. The physical exam will also include checking your child’s nerves, feeling the muscles in the back nerves, and asking him or her to raise his o her legs while lying on his back or face down.

Blood Exam

Blood tests are conducted to check for any infection or inflammation.

X-rays

Other than the x-rays, an MRI, bone scan, and CT scan may be required. These tests will reveal any issues with your child’s tissues, bones, or nerves. Doing these tests will also show other health concerns such as a tumor, an inflammation, or an infection, and accurately determine the cause of his or her middle back pain. Your child may need some contrast liquid to help the bones and tissues show clearer in the scan. Tell the doctor if your child has an allergic reaction to a contrast liquid. If an MRI is needed, don’t let your child go through with the procedure with any metal object in his or her person as metal may cause severe injury when it comes in contact with the MRI room.

Treatment

The treatment plan will depend on the cause of the pain in your child’s back. Your healthcare specialist may recommend the following:

Your pediatrician may recommend a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. NSAIDs may be purchased from the pharmacy without a prescription. However, if your child is taking any blood thinner medicine, then don’t give him or her NSAID as it can cause kidney problems or stomach bleeding. Check with your doctor what kind of NSAID is safe to give to your child.
Physical therapy may also be suggested for your child’s treatment of middle back pain. Ask your pediatrician for a referral of a physical therapist that specializes in children’s exercises and stretches to help improve their posture, movement, and strength, and to alleviate pain.

However, if your child’s back pain is not getting better even when taking medicine, seek immediate medical attention. Any signs of decreased appetite, weight loss, or fever are also a cause for concern and should be taken seriously.

9 Things People with Back Pain Realize

A National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases study revealed that 8 out of 10 people would be ridden with back pain to some extent at some point in their lives. While there’s varying level of discomfort associated with back pain, there’s the anguish brought about by sciatic pain.

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at what those who suffer from this condition are going through so we can better understand them. We’ll also discuss how to deal with the condition to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

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Unbearable Pain

Back pain is terrible; however, sciatic pain is like torture. The radiating distress caused by this condition is called radiculopathy, and it can be extraordinarily painful. Radiculopathy is also a sure sign that you should get medical help immediately. Usually, people suffering from back pain will wait until the pain is unbearable before going to the doctors’; doing so will bring long-term damage.

Physiological Cause

Majority of sciatica cases is due to the herniated disk in the spine. However, in other cases, sciatica can be caused by a slipped disk, or a piriformis syndrome, which is the spasm or tightening of the muscle in the buttocks; or it can be a result of a tumor or an abscess, or perhaps an injury. Pregnancy can also cause sciatic pain. The developing fetus makes no room for the sciatic nerve and compresses it. Other risk factors include obesity, age (30 and 50-year-olds are susceptible), a person’s occupation such as carrying heavy items or driving for long periods of time, diabetes, and lifestyle habits such as smoking, not having any physical activity/being sedentary, or stress and depression.

The Pain Goes Away

Fortunately, in most sciatica cases, the sciatic pain goes away on its own. Stretching, exercising, using hot and cold packs, taking over-the-counter pain medications, and other self-care methods are often effective.

Keep Moving

Back pain should always equate to bed rest. The trust is that stretching and exercising programs deliver give results. When you move your muscles, it helps with the increase in circulation. This process transmits a supply of oxygenated blood that the injured area needs to ease inflammation.

Benefits of Chiropractic

Chiropractic practices can be beneficial. The handling of the spine by an experienced chiropractor helps reduce pain-inducing pain from inflammation. There have been studies suggesting that almost 65 percent of patients suffering from sciatic pain experienced alleviation with chiropractic adjustments. Thus, chiropractic can help revive your normal mobility and lessen pain.

Consider Surgery

If the sciatica pain, along with muscle weakness and other severe symptoms, continue for more than three months, surgery may be needed. The procedure may either be invasive, which includes doing a big incision to access the problematic area; or it can be less invasive where endoscopic methods are utilized. While the success rates for either procedure are both high, the minimally invasive ones have been reported to have a faster recovery.

Don’t Take Any Movement for Granted

When you’re back is normal, and without any pain, simple things such as sitting at your computer or sitting in front of the TV, or driving in traffic are doable and are often not a huge deal. However, those dealing with sciatic pain don’t have that luxury; this condition disrupts their daily activities and living condition. Even the simplest acts of getting into a comfortable sleeping position or going around the house can be challenging. If you’re lucky and you don’t have sciatic pain, try to be extra helpful to those around you.

Manage Pain with These Activities

Walking. The easiest and best exercise for the lower back is walking. A 30-minute walk each day can give you the same benefits that a sole-session of aerobic exercise brings.
Swimming. This is a low-impact, spine-friendly exercise that can boost your heart rate while burning calories. Choose from water activities such as water walking, aqua aerobics, or laps across the pool.

Yoga. Many yoga poses help stretch your muscles and relieve tension on your back. Go online and search from the many instructional yoga videos you can follow – from beginner to intermediate to advanced.

Stretching. Doing stretches every day, even before you get out of bed, can immensely relieve sciatic pain. Stretching warms up the muscles before you use them for the day.

Suffer No More: How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Muscle Pains

For those suffering from sciatica, a comfortable sleeping position can be elusive. Sciatica commonly strikes at the most inconvenient times – like when you’re trying to get a much needed rest. If you can’t get enough sleep because of the pain, then the discomfort could get ten times worse each night.

It is essential to not ignore the underlying cause of nighttime sciatica so you can find a lasting and effective solution. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the different manifestations of this condition that may be tied to sleeping positions worsened while reclining.

Sciatica Causes

  • Physical injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disc
  • Facet joint syndrome
  • Ischemia
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal curvature
  • Piriformis syndrome

Getting Into a Cozy Slumber

When the body is at rest, any pain should be at a minimal. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with sciatica; it usually strikes as soon as you lie in be and try to relax, or it even wakes you up in the middle of the night. These pain syndromes are almost primarily of psychogenic source.

Nighttime sciatica is believed to occur due to the following reasons: 1) the heart pumps less blood than normal when you are at rest or sleeping; 2) the body’s horizontal position when sleeping causes a decreased lower body blood circulation and less oxygen going into the legs. This is why doctors recommend people to keep their legs elevated while sleeping or resting.

On the other hand, it is possible for you to experience more physical pain due to emotional issues which is heightened when your subconscious take over during sleep. In some instances, there may be structural reasons why pain is intensified when reclining, due to position-based parameters. These can be addressed through physical therapy.
Suggested Sleeping Positions

Sciatica or any muscle pain is worsened when you can’t find a comfortable sleeping position; it almost feels like a constant battle trying to find any form of relief. Your sleeping position can contribute to knowing what your pain level is and if you are experiencing a flare-up.

Keep in mind that pain is different to each person; what works for someone else may not work for you. Nevertheless, here are some suggested sleeping positions for sciatica sufferers. It may be challenging to get into another sleeping habit, especially if you are used to your existing one. However, just keep at it and be patient. When experimenting with these different sleeping positions, other health factors may influence the pain you endure. As you try a new sleeping position, give yourself several nights to try it out; it will eventually be more comfortable over time.

Sleeping on Your Back

Placing a pillow under your knees can be good for the low back. This position is called “supine position” and helps hold the natural curve of the spine. You can even place a rolled towel under the small of your back. However, if you sleep on your back with no support from pillows, it might contribute to greater pain; this is due to your spine staying in a flexed position. And while sleeping on your back is good for those with back pain, it is not advisable for people who have sleep apnea.

Sleeping on Your Side

Sleeping on your side when you have sciatica will only work if you use one or two pillows between the legs to avoid twisting pressure and add support on the lower back. This will help keep the leg and spine in a comfortable neutral position. Side sleeping is can also help relieve heartburn.

Sleeping on Your Stomach

This position is actually not a good way to sleep for anyone. It lets your back arch unnaturally and can cause more pain. Sleeping on your stomach causes the back to extend and work against gravity. If you can’t find any other comfortable sleeping position, you can make a slight adjustment by placing a pillow beneath your stomach or under your pelvis. This solution can help your back maintain a neutral position.

Nighttime Routine

  • Avoid caffeine during late afternoon and in the evening. If you’re suffering from sciatica, this tip is particularly essential. The pain is already contributing to sleepless nights, and you don’t need another cause for it.
  • Use an ice pack to help relieve pain on the lower back so you can fall asleep easier.
  • Keep your bedroom the right temperature and darkness to avoid any disturbance or disruption.