Today’s post will be short and straight to the point.

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Children should not have back pain!

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With the exception of traumatic events and certain pathologies, there really should be no reason why your child should be suffering from discomfort in the low back. Here are 3 of the most common reasons why I think children have low back pain in 2010.

1. Facebooking: NOT facebook. Facebooking. How many hours does your child spend “slouched on the couch?

Dr. Craig Liebenson states:

“Prolonged sitting is one of the most deleterious activities most people engage in. After only 3 minutes of full flexion of the spine ligamentous creep or laxity occurs which persists even after 30 minutes of rest! (Gunning, McGill). These ligaments are responsible for protecting our discs so it is no wonder that trivial early morning flexion (putting on socks) or bending after sitting for a prolonged period (picking up a pencil) can lead to a severe disc problem with nerve irritation (Adams and Hutton)”

2. Skinny Jeans: Whether or not these things are still “in”, they’re still quite common. How some people even fit everything in there is another post altogether but frankly, how does one move in those things? Especially when they’re hanging off their rear ends?

Here is a short description by Patrick Ward on the relationship between a lack of hip mobility and low back pain.

“The idea that those with back pain compensate for a lack of hip mobility by creating lumbar mobility should come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog or who has read some of Stuart McGill’s books/research or some of Gray Cook’s books…Typically, when a client compensates we see a dysfunction at the joint either below or above the joint that is painful (remember, a symptom is nothing more than a presentation of a problem. It tells us something is wrong but it does not tell us what is wrong)….When one presents with low-back pain…an evaluation of the hip (for both strength deficits and mobility restrictions) should also be performed.”

Note: Chalk another one up for lululemon pants!

3. Inactivity: For one reason or another, kids just don’t move these days. Maybe its because of “facebooking” or maybe its because their jeans are so tight, but for whatever reason, kids are inactive. Can’t blame school. School has been around for a long time. But after school? If you’re child is complaining to you of low back pain, simply take a picture of them while they tell you it hurts. More often than not their speaking to you in this position:


Children need to play. They need to develop both general and fine motor skills. And increasing their activity levels will not only improve their overall health, it just may indirectly decrease their risk for low back pain.


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4 Responses to Your kid’s low back hurts? Really?

  1. [...] Children Should Not Have Low Back Pain by Jeff [...]

  2. Chris K says:

    Jeff,

    Purely an empirical observation, but it has been my experience that donning “skinny jeans” not only restrict hip mobility, but also blood flow to the brain.

    I actually had a weightloss client who would regularily take 15 minutes to pry her skinny jeans from her body before training and 15 minutes to replaster them back to her thighs afterwards– thus negating any of the hip mobility work accomplished in our session.

    Needless to say, it took her over 90 minutes to complete a 30 minute session and was not a client for long. Perhaps we should issue these individuals crowbars or scissors as part of our intervention when this is the case.

  3. Greetings Jeff,

    Good info. I am always looking at posture and particularly teens. I did a blog entry a few years ago that I make all my teens and their parents look at. Might have at look at
    http://www.backsmith.co.nz/?s=C-shaped.

    I do like your web site and will list it as a link on mine.

    Cheers – Michael

  4. Great blog! I agree with you completely. One of the
    best things we can do for kids is help them divorce
    themselves from technology and get outside and PLAY!

    I believe we will continue to see the sad results of
    the “facebooking” lifestyle (see Disney’s Wall-E).

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