Potential Causes of Back Pain in Children and Teens

While back pain is usually considered a problem for people middle-aged and older, the number of children and teens suffering from back pain is increasing. Some of the potential causes of back pain in young people have long existed, while others relate primarily to the way kids use technology.

Heavy Backpacks

If you think your child’s backpack is too heavy, trust your parental instincts. An overloaded backpack is a common cause of back pain in kids. Make sure your child can carry the backpack comfortably and check to see that unnecessary items are not toted around.

A child should not carry a backpack weighing more than 10 to 15 percent of their weight.

Too Much Time on the Computer or Phone

Today’s young people spend countless hours on their computers, tablets, phones and similar devices. Many kids and teens live a sedentary lifestyle with little exercise.

Weight issues, lack of fitness and spending too much time with technology is a recipe for back problems. Limit the amount of time your child spends online or gaming, and make sure they take regular breaks to get up and stretch.

Most importantly, encourage an active lifestyle and get your children moving rather than spending most of their young lives sitting down.

Poor Posture

Poor posture is another cause of back pain in young people, and it often ties into excessive tech use. Kids might sit in a hunched position while working on a computer, so it is important to teach them good posture basics. You may want to invest in an ergonomic chair for your teen to provide necessary spinal support when using devices.


Sports are great for kids, but their bodies are still growing. Teens especially may overexert themselves and hurt their backs – and then refuse to rest long enough for proper healing to take place.

Spondylolysis occurs frequently in young people who hyperextend their backs while participating in sports. Recuperation may last a month or more. If your child suffers a sports injury resulting in back pain, seek medical attention immediately.

Back Conditions

Certain back conditions occur in children or adolescents, causing pain. These include:

  • Congenital spinal abnormalities
  • Herniated disc
  • Infection
  • Kyphosis
  • Scoliosis

In rare cases, pediatric back pain results from a tumor. Take your child to the doctor if the back pain lasts more than a few days, or if the child is unable to sleep because of the pain. Any pain accompanied by fever requires a prompt visit to the doctor.

Contact Tampa Back Pain Doctors Today

If your child or teen suffers from back pain, call today and make an appointment for an evaluation.