09 Mar Are your kids complaining of back or neck pain? Beware it can be scoliosis!
Considering how heavy children’s backpacks are these days, it’s really no surprise that kids are complaining of neck and back pain due to scoliosis! The number of kids that are seeking treatment for back and neck has been alarmingly increasing over the past few years. And unfortunately so has the weight of their school bags. With their heavy bags, heavy sports on top of that coupled with bad sitting posture due to phones and tablets, and there you are, a perfect recipe for back or neck pain.
What you need to be aware of as a parent?
Posture! posture! posture! You need to be aware of how your kids are sitting at home. Are they constantly slouching over their phones/tablets? If the answer is yes, this stooped posture can cause increased stresses on the muscles and joints of the spine causing pain. Encourage your kids to get up at least every 30 minutes. You may have an alarm on the phone or a pop up notification on the tablet that reminds them.
Have you had them screened for scoliosis? Scoliosis is a sideways deviation of the spine. This creates an imbalance in the muscles and joints of the spine causing pain. Some kids may be born with it but it tends to get exaggerated with poor posture. Most of the times, scoliosis is a self-limiting, usually when the kids reach puberty. However, there are certain cases where the scoliosis may increase with age. The best way to control it would be with exercises and Physio. Some severe cases may require surgery to correct the curve.
It is important to stretch the front muscles that tend to tighten up due to sitting in a poor posture and strengthen up the back muscles. Physios or Exercise Physiologists may help with showing the right exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles.
How can Physios help your children suffering from spinal pain?
First of all Physios will help diagnose Scoliosis. By performing tests, Physios can say if the problem is coming from the joint, tendon or muscles and prescribe the treatment for it. Remember pain is not normal! so if your child is complaining of spinal pain constantly or frequently, it needs to be treated. The main aim in the initial phase of treatment is the reduction of pain and swelling. The physios do this by mobilizing joints which helps in improving the circulation through the area and reducing pain. Massage around the surrounding muscles then helps in reducing tension and relaxing the spasm. Finally the physio will show strengthening exercises to prevent this issue from reoccurring.