Now that September has arrived and children have returned to school it's wise to be aware of some of the common physical stresses that can cause problems. It may come as a surprise to some that kids can have conditions like neck pain, lower back pain and headaches, but these complaints are actually quite common among youngsters.
In fact many health problems we face as adults start in childhood. It is certainly understandable that small problems when we're young accumulate and in large into more significant conditions in adulthood.
With this in mind let's consider several stresses that occur on a child's body and how to prevent them.
Problems with posture appeared to be on the rise with many people globally, especially children. Researchers note this is most likely due to the increase of computers, cell phones, tablets and laptops. When we overuse these types of electronics our head is carried forward in relation to the rest of the body. Ideally our head should be carried back over our shoulders. Picture someone in the military standing at attention and you can visualize ideal posture for the head and upper body. When we have abnormal forward head posture it causes a strain on the neck and the upper back. In fact, researchers analyzed the posture of the 35 teens with neck pain and 35 of their asymptomatic peers. They found a distinct difference in cervical posture between the two groups.
There is actually a condition called "text neck" that describes the overuse of electronics resulting in poor posture and concomitant neck and upper back pain, and headaches.
To alleviate neck and upper back musculoskeletal problems in children and adults can first educate their kids about good upper body posture. One method is to imagine a string is attached to the very top of the head and is gently pulling directly upward. This simple method in itself will put most of us in a position of good posture. Parents also may need to limit time youngsters are using electronics and encourage them to engage in physical activity.
Injuries from Sports
When we think of sports injuries we tend to think of collision sports like football. Football whether played as midgets or in high school is certainly an activity that can result in injury. However sports like cheerleading, soccer, lacrosse and others can put a stress on a child's body. Some sports such as swimming, running or baseball pitching have repetitive stresses that can accumulate and cause injury. If injury occurs it is wise to look at conservative, safe therapies. Chiropractic care is a treatment option that is effective and does not rely on the use of invasive procedures or medicines.
Strain from Backpacks
We are now aware that backpacks that kids carry to school can be a source of back pain if used improperly. It is important that children are encouraged to use both shoulder straps at all times to distribute weight evenly. It is also imperative that the backpack not be too heavy. Experts state that the backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the child's body weight.
If a child complains of neck pain, upper back pain, lower back pain, or headaches it should not be ignored. Research study showed that 30% of young people report having back pain. If these conditions develop it is wise to consider seeing a Doctor of Chiropractic for consultation. Chiropractors are trained to examine problems of the spine. Chiropractic care has always been shown to be a possible solution to children experiencing painful conditions. Chiropractic therapy is safe, effective and does not involve the use of invasive procedures like surgery or the use of possibly harmful drugs and medications.