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Back Pain in Children

In many ways back pain in children is similar to back pain in adults. However, there are a few conditions which children and teenagers are may be more susceptible to. In this article we’ll discuss those as well as signs there may be a more serious problem.

Back Pain in Children vs Adults

Back Pain in Children vs. Adults

Causes for back pain in children are similar to those for adults. The most common causes of back pain in children include overuse, injury, or strain. Less common causes include include scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis.

Back pain can also be the sign of a more serious condition. Though this is less common, you should be aware of some warning signs. If back pain is accompanied by any of the following conditions you should consult a doctor. This is true for both children and adults.

  • fever
  • difficulty walking
  • weight loss
  • numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • bowel or bladder problems

Causes of Back Pain in Children and Adolescents

Everything we’ve reviewed until now holds true for both children and adults. However, there are some conditions that are more common in children. Below is a brief overview of each one.


Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves to the left, right or both instead of traveling straight down the middle of the body. Although this can occur in adulthood it often develops in adolescents. In fact, many children receive are evaluated for scoliosis by their primary doctor or their school by a quick visual examination.


Kyphosis is another condition which is commonly found in children. Kyphosis is the condition in which the outward curvature of the spine is exaggerated in the upper back. You may have heard this condition referred to as “hunchback”.


Teens can also develop back pain as the result of injuries such as a muscle strains or cracked vertebrae. As children grow, their bones may be more prone to stress fractures. In addition, they can strain muscles that aren’t yet fully developed to handle their increasing weight.

Does your child use a backpack for school supplies? Read more about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Backpack Safety tips here.



  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/back-pain-in-children
  • http://orthokids.org/Condition/Back-Pain-in-Children
*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery