Back Pain in Children and Adolescents

Is it common?

Not as common as in adults, 45% of whom, report back pain in the past year. 1/3 of children and adolescents complain of back pain. In teenage years, the rate of these complaints increases about 4% a year until reaching the adult level of 45% at age 18.

Kids most often experience back pain in the low back region or lumbar spine. This region is responsible for 70% of complaints of back pain amongst patients under 18.


What sports are associated with back pain?

The sports most consistently associated with complaints of back pain include: Cheerleading, Gymnastics, Competitive Dancing, Fencing, Crew, Diving, and many more… Complaints of back pain associated with sports are not limited to the sports included on this list.


What are the treatments?

Most children and adolescents experiencing back pain respond well to Rest, Physical Therapy or Massage, and over the counter Medication; very few need aggressive treatment such as injections or surgery. However, persistent complaints of back pain should not be ignored and please feel free to contact us for any Pediatric Orthopaedic needs.


The information provided above summarizes findings from the Hospital for Special Surgery presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting in 2019.