What is back pain in children?

Also known as: pediatric back pain, adolescent back pain.

Back pain is one of the most common medical conditions experienced by people in the United States. There are many muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back, and in children and adolescents, the most common cause of back pain is muscular sprains and/or strains.

Muscular back pain can occur in any part of the back including the neck, shoulder, midback and low back/ buttocks area. It may resolve on its own, but sometimes it can be persistent, and your doctor may recommend specific treatments.

Back pain is often seen as a problem among older adults, rather than children. But in recent years, the problem is becoming more common. Some reports suggest that anywhere from 20 to 70 percent of kids may have back pain by the age of 15. In some cases, these are minor aches and pains, but other children may experience more severe pain related to the spine or other underlying conditions.

  • Acute back pain happens suddenly, lasting a few days to a few weeks.
  • Subacute back pain can come on suddenly or gradually, lasting 1-3 months.
  • Chronic back pain may come on suddenly or gradually, lasting longer than 3 months.

Reviewed by: Stephen G George, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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