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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dr. Mukai on Underage Back Problems

A recent study revealed that one in three adolescents experience back pain. That is pretty startling, considering back pain is one of those troublesome ailments thought to exclusively affect middle-aged or seniors. The findings, published in the Journal of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, suggest that too much training in a single sports, or playing multiple sports in the same season, may be to blame.

Texas Orthopedics' Dr. Ai Mukai recently discussed this in an interview with FOX-7's Good Day Austin.

Many kids focus intensely on one sport at a young age, and that can lead to overuse or overtraining issues, especially as their muscles and bones are still developing. Additionally, kids who jump from one sport to the next, without a break, are also at risk for back pain, and other injuries, as they are not allowing their body sufficient rest and recovery.

Additionally, the study also found that adolescents who are not active enough, and perhaps too engaged in screen time, are reporting back pain as well. Poor posture often adopted when hunched over smart phone, tablet, or gaming device is equally damaging to the spine and lower back muscles.

Things that may help alleviate back pain in your adolescent include:
  • anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
  • proper rest following a strenuous sporting, or other physical activity
  • adequate stretching or warm-up exercises before sports
  • adjusting posture, and engaging core muscles, as much as possible 
If your child's back pain is sever and persistent, sends shooting pains down a leg, or causes any numbness, they should get checked out by a doctor immediately.

Your physician or orthopedist may recommend an MRI or X-Ray to pinpoint the source of the pain and help best determine treatment.

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