Back Pain in Teens

Back pain management is no longer just a concern for adults; increasingly, young teenagers are feeling the effects if back pain. If you are a teen or the parent of a teen, it is important to educate yourself on common back pain causes for young people.

Children’s bodies are typically more resilient than those of adults. However, various conflicting factors of the modern lifestyle have posed serious threats to the spinal structures and back muscles of growing children.


Some of our youth are not getting the amount of exercise they need. Physical activity is important for maintaining both muscle tone and cardiovascular health. These two components of a healthy body protect against strain and injury, since strong muscles can handle the physical feats required by the day and a strong delivery system of blood and oxygen allows the tissues of the body to replenish, recover and perform work. Exercise is a vital component of back pain management and prevention.

Modern life is centered around technology. Computers and video games occupy much of our children’s time. With the exception of physical education classes, many teens spend the day sitting in unergonomic chairs at school, then sitting at home. The four or so minutes they spend walking between classes is not enough to stretch their muscles. Muscle tension and rigidity can result from this inactivity, along with other serious health problems like obesity.

Competitive Sport

On the other hand, some of our children are pushing themselves too hard. While modern culture fosters inactivity, it also holds on to the “no pain, no gain” ideal. Competitive sports are an asset to many lives, developing character and encouraging teamwork. However, some teens push themselves beyond their capacity and end up with an injury that lasts a lifetime.
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Exacerbating this problem is the fact that many teens will not rest their injuries long enough for them to heal. Team members who play even when hurt are glorified for putting the team before themselves. Teens who don’t spend adequate time on back pain management may not realize that the sacrifice they are making will effect their futures.

Postural Enemies

The aforementioned schoolroom chair and the overloaded backpack are enemies of proper posture. Teens who don’t maintain strong stomach and back muscles will likely slouch in their seats, distorting the spine’s curvature. This also creates strain on the lower back muscles, since the stomach muscles are not engaged to assist in supporting the upper body’s weight.

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