Do you know a child or young person who regularly complains of an aching back? The focus of this year’s Back Care Awareness Week – which runs from 5 to 11 October – is back pain in children. The national back pain association BackCare is keen to highlight the causes of poor posture and associated back pain among young people and offer prevention advice.
BackCare’s research has highlighted that one in four children experience regular back pain, some even daily. Neck and shoulder pain is another common complaint among this age group.
Our osteopaths regularly work with children and young people. Osteopaths have a detailed knowledge of anatomy and physiology and a highly developed sense of touch which they use to detect and release areas of tension or structural imbalance. Osteopaths do not focus on treating conditions but on ensuring that the musculoskeletal framework is physically comfortable and balanced. As experts at assessing posture, osteopaths can also monitor development of the spine.
Older children and teenagers often have poor posture, from spending much of their day sitting, or often slouching, in chairs at school and at home. This can cause areas of tension in the spine. Carrying heavy school bags, as many of our children do every day, can further increase pressure on the spine, contributing to their aches and pains. Indeed, BackCare’s research revealed that half of the 900 secondary school pupils they surveyed felt that their school bags were too heavy for them. Back pain was ten times more common amongst pupils with heavy bags. We have this advice on helping your child choose a backpack as their school bag and carry it correctly, in order to avoid posture problems resulting from a heavy load.
We also have these tips for avoiding poor posture throughout the school day.
Our osteopaths are experienced in treating children and making them feel at ease while in our practice. Osteopathy treatment is not uncomfortable or painful and most children find that they enjoy their sessions. If you’d like to find out more about how osteopathy could help your child, call our reception team on 0113 237 1173.
Find out more about BackCare’s campaign to raise enough money to be able to offer all 8,000 UK secondary schools practical evidence-based preventative guidance to help address this issue of back pain in children and young people.