Back Pain in Children

Pain the back in children occurs quite often and seems to be increasingly common. Most of the time this is not a serious problem.

What causes back pain in children?

Years ago dire warnings were given about missing serious causes of back pain in children. Now doctors are more relaxed about back pain in kids. Sure, serious causes mustn't be ignored but doctors have come to realise there's no need to scan every kid who winces after slamming themself into a goal post.

There's a whole range of conditions that can cause back pain in older children, including overuse, carrying heavy backpacks, and sprains and fractures. Less common conditions include slipped discs and inflammatory diseases.

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  • Taxter AJ, Chauvin NA, Weiss PF; Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain in the pediatric population. Phys Sportsmed. 2014 Feb 42(1):94-104. doi: 10.3810/psm.2014.02.2052.
  • Ramirez N, Flynn JM, Hill BW, et al; Evaluation of a systematic approach to pediatric back pain: the utility of magnetic resonance imaging. J Pediatr Orthop. 2015 Jan 35(1):28-32. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000190.
  • Spiteri K, Busuttil ML, Aquilina S, et al; Schoolbags and back pain in children between 8 and 13 years: a national study. Br J Pain. 2017 May 11(2):81-86. doi: 10.1177/2049463717695144. Epub 2017 Feb 1.
Dr Laurence Knott
Peer Reviewer:
Dr John Cox
Document ID:
29433 (v1)
Last Checked:
16 June 2017
Next Review:
25 June 2020

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.