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Back pain in adolescents is very common. There are a number of reasons for this. The most important thing is to recognise that the problem is real and that help can often be very easy. Occasionally the problem is more significant. Diagnosing and dealing with this reality is also important.

The good news with treating children and adolescents is that making positive changes to their pain can be very simple. Often there are some poor loading patterns in sitting or sporting activities that can be modified relatively easily. Modifying these poor patterns not only helps the pain in the short term, but by correcting these issues while people are young can make a significant difference to their future.

When the pains have been caused by injury it is important to treat these pains rather than ignore them. The body is good at changing movement patterns in the short term while doing long term damage. This is not a good idea when there are 60 or more years of future ahead of someone.

Some issues are a little more complicated. For these cases, learning how to deal with your body is important. This then allows adolescents to make sensible choices for work, sports and hobbies into the future. Again, getting this right early in life can make a big difference in adult life.

Published in “The Village Observer”, September , 2011, written by Burns Bay Physiotherapy.