Childhood is a time typically associated with play and activity. Modern life, however, offers fewer opportunities for the kinds of unstructured physical play that were once common in previous generations. Parents wanting their children to be active, and mindful of the negative effects of too much sedentary time, often encourage their children to balance their time on computers or simply sitting in classrooms with organized sports that develop their agility, strength, and endurance.
One risk of organized sports, particularly among children who participate at high levels or who shift between several sports year-round, is the potential for injury. Back injuries are one type of problem parents should be alert for as their children train and compete. While the risk of suffering an injury from an accident or from repetitive strain should not be a reason to avoid sports altogether, being prepared to recognize and deal with one will help your young athlete avoid unnecessary pain and could help reduce the amount of time they spend on the sidelines recovering.
The Importance of Treating Back Pain Promptly
Back pain is a common complaint among young athletes, and certain sports put children and adolescents at greater risk for a back injury. Injuries can be the result of strain or overuse or the result of a fall or impact. For example, a young football player could suffer a back injury from a hard tackle, or a young equestrian might be injured in a fall from their horse.
However, it isn’t only sports that seem more evidently risky that can pose a danger to the back. Gymnastics, tennis, wrestling, diving, and dance, in which the spine is frequently twisted, bent, or extended, are activities associated with a greater frequency of back pain and injury among children. Track and field, and sports like soccer that involve a great deal of running, can also result in low back pain from the repeated impact of the feet delivering jolts to the spine.
While many back injuries among children are muscle strains and sprains, children can also be at risk of developing spondylolysis, or stress fractures in the lumbar spine. These kinds of fractures occur when a bone experiences repeated tension or compression, causing it to break. Because these types of injuries develop over time and with repeated stresses, it is important to address the first signs of back pain when it develops and to teach children not to ignore the discomfort.
Poor posture can put your child at increased risk for suffering an injury no matter what their sport. When the spine is not aligned correctly during demanding physical activity, the resulting unnatural stresses on the back can result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. Growth spurts, when children’s bodies and coordination are changing, can also be a time of increased risk.
Chiropractic Care for Kids
If your child has a back injury or back pain, you may be anxious to find them treatment but unsure about what might be safe and effective. This is a natural concern—growing children and adolescents have different needs than adults, and the possibility of doing harm is real. In particular, traditional chiropractic treatments, which involve sudden, often painful adjustments to align the spine, can be alarming and upsetting to kids. Even if the treatments succeed in improving the underlying condition, the process can leave kids resistant to getting care and mistrustful of medical professionals.
If you’ve had chiropractic treatment suggested as a possible remedy for your child but have been hesitant, come to Divine Spine for an alternative. Our state-of-the-art Electronic Vertebral Alignment (EVA) system uses gentle, precise adjustments to relieve pain and restore range of motion without any shock to the spine. The result is comfortable, soothing treatment with proven success in addressing injury and promoting ongoing wellness in patients of all ages. We also work with our patients to improve their core strength to protect against future injury. To find out more about Divine Spine’s services or to schedule a consultation, contact us here.