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Half term- the perfect chance to assess your teen’s spinal health

In our practice, we have noticed gradually increasing numbers of school kids, particularly those aged between 13 and 18, coming in with complaints of back pain, particularly towards the end of the school day. Could this just be a nice way to get out of the last lesson? We think the problem runs a little deeper than that…

Dare I say it but…. When i was young! we would get home, and either sit in front of the telly, or go out and play. Now I’m not here to lament the demise of kids playing outside, because the obviously still do, but a huge number of them now have some sort of personal internet access. Whether this comes in the form of a smartphone, tablet, laptop or the good old desktop… they all seem to have something, and many of them will use it at least once a day, and often for long periods of the day. Now leaving aside debates about kids exposure to things on the internet, this is unhealthy on a whole different level…. a postural level! We all know the office work posture… rounded shoulders, hunched towards the screen, chin poking out. Now imagine all of those forces on a spine which is still growing, and is therefore highly susceptible to structural change in response to force. What this means is that repeatedly holding this posture causes the bones to adapt their shape accordingly. This can cause more serious problems in the future, but can also be very easily rectified to prevent issues in the future. Here is a quick case study of one of our patients which summarises a classic case of teenage back pain.

http://vimeo.com/thesounddoctor/review/98804927/3b0407a58f

As highlighted in the video, its not just the postural effects of using technology which causes pain, but also the increasingly heavy bags which children now carry around at school. Carrying a bag with two or three books in plus a laptop is never going to be easy for your back. On top of this is the fact that most kids don’t carry their bag correctly, either its a backpack carried over one shoulder, or the straps loosened to the point that the bag is bouncing around their knees rather than tight to their back. All of these cause excess asymmetric strain to be put on the spine and shoulders, and contributes to the pain.

Because we know that children shouldn’t suffer with back pain, and when they do it is important to correct it early to prevent more serious problems later in life, we offer all under 18s half price treatment fees. A short course of treatment and some simple advice on posture and lifestyle can stop the development of these problems in their tracks, so don’t wait, come in this half term and see how we can help. Call 01225 862140