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Back pain in children can be localized to the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar level, sometimes radiating to the shoulders and buttocks and only rarely radiating to the extremities.
In the vast majority of cases, let's say 90%, we are not able to identify a specific pathology that causes pain, that is when we speak of nonspecific pain. However, in some cases we do find pathologies or diseases that cause pain: we are then talking about specific or organic pain. In Guiainfantil.com We tell you which injuries cause back pain in children and are the most common.
1. Spondylolisthesis: Union defect between the anterior and posterior part of the last vertebra attached to the sacrum. It causes pain of a mechanical nature, that is, related to physical activity and improves at rest. The simple union or fusion of these vertebrae is called Ankylosing Spondylitis, which when there is a displacement between them, is called spondylolisthesis.
2. Sheuermann kyphosis: It is an exaggerated bending of the spine forward. The thoracic spine presents a normal forward flexion of up to 40º, so in these cases kyphosis is considered physiological. A normal spine viewed from behind looks straight. However, a spinal column affected by kyphosis exhibits some forward curvature (more than 40º) in the vertebrae of the upper back, similar to a hump. It is produced by a disorder in the ossification of the vertebrae.
3. Lordosis: it is the opposite of kyphosis. It is a backward bending of the spine, which may correspond to the normal posture in the cervical and lumbar spine to compensate for thoracic kyphosis, but it can also be an abnormal situation when it is very pronounced. The exaggeration of the lordotic curvature makes the buttocks appear more prominent.
A child with marked lordosis, when lying on his back on a hard surface, shows a space between his lower back and the surface on which he is lying. If the lordotic curve is flexible, that is, it returns to its normal shape when the child leans forward, it is a sign of minimal medical importance; but if the curve is fixed, a medical evaluation should be done.
4. Scoliosis: It comes from a Greek word that means "crooked" and is a disorder that causes the spine to curve sideways and the vertebrae generally rotate. Usually painless. If there is pain in the back along with scoliosis, it means that there is also a disease in the spine or nerves, and an inflammatory or tumor cause must be ruled out.
Scoliosis usually begins when the child is between 8 and 10 years of age, but it is only noticeable when he reaches adolescence. It is more common in adolescent girls. We must differentiate what is a true or structural scoliosis from what is a scoliotic attitude or functional scoliosis.
Other causes of organic back pain are infections, tumors, herniated discs, rheumatic disorders, or trauma. Although their incidence is very low, we must take them into account to correct or combat them promptly. We must not forget that prevention is the key to these types of problems.
In conclusion, deviations of the spinal column are frequent in children and in most cases, they usually correspond to a banal symptom.
Faced with a child with back pain that lasts for more than a day or that repeats without known traumatic cause, it is recommended that they go to the pediatrician. The doctor will assess if it is a non-specific pain or if you have organic back pain and will guide you on the treatment.
In the case of nonspecific pain, we recommend avoiding rest, trying to lead a life as normal as possible and alleviating the symptoms with medication. In the case of organic pain, the treatment will depend on the specific pathology and is carried out by the specialist in pediatric orthopedics.
You can read more articles similar to Common back problems in children, in the category of Orthopedics and on-site traumatology.