Call Us for Consultation

Potential Causes of Back Pain in Children and Teens

Potential Causes of Back Pain in Children and Teens

The shape and curvature of the spine constantly change through childhood, and these changes can make the spine prone to injury, trauma, and medical conditions.

The vertebra, which is the bony building block of the spine, predominantly changes from a flexible cartilaginous tissue into the bony skeleton of an adult. Children are unique in terms of their bony skeleton as there are specific areas of the skeleton, known as “growth plates,” where growth occurs. These growth plates are present at the end of each vertebral body and are susceptible to different types of medical problems.

As kids age and their bodies mature, it is also possible that an injury to the spinal discs may occur and cause back pain.

Possible causes of muscular back pain in children and adolescents

There may be a history of precipitating trauma, but more often, muscular back pain in children may develop gradually over time and flare insidiously, occurring due to one or a combination of the following factor

​​Problems that affect a child’s back are most often due to injuries from sports or play, falls, or unusual strain, such as that caused by wearing a heavy backpack. 

Back pain and stiffness are most often caused by a pulled muscle, a strained ligament, or bruising. 

  • Injury while playing or participating in sports
  • Carrying a backpack on one shoulder or using excessively heavy backpacks on a regular basis
  • Using unsupported posture while sitting, standing, and/or walking
  • Sleeping on an overly soft mattress
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Obesity
  • Muscular back pain that develops over time can become chronic and worsen, and may affect the harmony of the surrounding spinal structures if the muscles become weak.


Athletic adolescents may be at risk of developing spondylolysis, a defect in the pars interarticularis (the joint between the vertebral bones) due to repeated hyperextension (bending backward) and rotation of the spine. 

Herniated or Injured Spinal Discs

The delicate spinal discs (the spine’s shock absorbers, positioned between each bony vertebra) in children and adolescents may bulge or herniate from acute trauma, such as a fall or motor vehicle accident.


Scoliosis (a severe curvature of the spine) is a possible cause of back pain, especially in adolescent girls. Your pediatrician evaluates your child’s posture during regular well-child visits to make sure her back is straight and she’s growing normally.

Consult your gp and physio if your child with back pain is younger than 10 years or has:

Pain that won’t go away or is getting worse

Fever or weight loss

Difficulty in moving a limb

Numbness or tingling in a limb

Loss of bladder or bowel control

A change in gait or posture

Back pain in a young child who hasn’t been injured is concerning and needs to be evaluated by a medical professional.


Here at Don Kelly Physiotherapy and Acupuncture clinic we have treated this very common condition very successfully in both our Limerick and Charleville clinics.

Phyio exercises and acupressure: This can be an ancient type of treatment that is comparable to acupuncture, but does not use needles. It applies pressure to particular pressure points which encourages blood circulation, relieves muscle tension, and triggers our body natural healing : 

I have treated my patients with a 100% success rate. Armed with experience in the last 20 years of providing my physiotherapy services in Limerick and Charleville.

If you experience chronic pain, injuries, or advice for knee surgery and replacement please don’t hesitate to reach out. I have treated thousands of my patients with successful results over the last 20 years of my physio services. 

BEFORE YOU SAY YES TO KNEE SURGERY REPLACEMENT– give me a ring for an assessment. 

My treatment plan is the result of my experience and knowledge in treating chronic pains and injuries over the last 20 years. This is the holistic plan to guarantee pain relief, prevent recurring pains, and faster recovery. 



Please fill out your information below and I’ll be happy to see how I can best serve you.

Marketing by