Nearly half of all teenagers have musculoskeletal pain. This is the finding of recent scientific research study. This article will discuss teens having pain of the musculoskeletal system, especially neck and lower back pain.
Here in Western Pennsylvania youngsters are returning to school and it is prudent to be aware of some of the common physical stresses that can cause problems. While we’re not surprised that adults engaging in vigorous physical activity may undergo injury to their neck and back some may fail to recognize that children are susceptible to the same deleterious conditions.
For instance, many of our teenagers are participating in various school activities and sports.
I have patients that are involved in the school marching band. They have been in “band camp” which requires them to be practicing daily for many hours. A number of them are carrying heavy instruments like drums and tubas. Some are on the dance team. A percentage of them will develop neck and back conditions.
Likewise, cheerleaders have been undergoing enhanced, preseason training. These students are involved in incredibly acrobatic cheerleading routines. There are girls who are called “flyers” who are literally launched into the air and do gymnastic maneuvers like flips. Then there are the youngsters who are considered the “bases” that must catch the flyers. Cheerleaders actually have a higher injury rate than football players.
Speaking of football players, we all know that they are intensely involved in their preseason practices and it’s not difficult to imagine the physical stresses they are undergoing.
Locally, boys and girls are practicing for soccer. It is common for soccer players to use their head to propel and direct or “head the ball” to a desired location. I’ve seen numerous soccer players who have injured their neck while performing this maneuver.
A recent research study published in BMC Pediatrics, June 2019 reported that nearly half of teens have musculoskeletal pain. The study noted that surveys completed by 1021 teenagers revealed that 46% had pain in one or more body sites. The data showed that teens with musculoskeletal pain in at least one body site and lower quality of life scores and lower sleep quality than their pain free peers. Additionally, participants with pain in multiple sites reported lower quality of life and sleep quality scores and those with pain in only one area.
Clearly our young people are at risk for musculoskeletal neck and back conditions.
Fortunately seeing a Doctor of Chiropractic can help many of these teens. Chiropractic care has always been shown to be a possible solution to children experiencing painful conditions. Chiropractic therapy is effective, safe and does not involve the use of possibly harmful drugs and medications and it does not involve the use of invasive procedures like surgery.
If a child complains of neck pain, upper back pain, lower back pain or headaches it should not be ignored. Seeing a chiropractor for consultation is highly recommended.
With students of all ages returning to school it is important to address backpack safety. In my 34 years of chiropractic practice I have seen numerous cases where improper use of a backpack caused a young person to develop a painful musculoskeletal problem. This article will discuss safe use of backpacks. It will also give information from a recent research journal about backpacks, their risks and preventive measures to reduce injury.
We all know that a heavy backpack can cause musculoskeletal problems for those carrying them. The neck, mid back and lower back are especially susceptible to injury. If the upper neck is irritated it can also lead to a person developing headaches.
The Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, March 2019 published a study showing examinations of 160 students revealed that the average student’s backpack weighs the equivalent of 18% of their body weight, which is above the 10- 15% recommended by experts to reduce the risk for backpack related musculoskeletal pain. Additionally, researchers observed that while wearing a backpack, students adopted a more forward head posture, which can increase the risk for both neck and shoulder pain.
If the backpack is the cause of pain conditions we must address what can be done to correct the situation. Prevention is the key. The first step to take is to minimize the weight carried as much as possible. If a person doesn’t have to carry textbooks at all this would certainly be preferable. To accomplish this, online methods may be of help. Many courses that are found in textbooks are also available online. This would allow a student to keep their textbooks at school and still be able to study at home through cyber means. Along the same lines it might be possible to buy an inexpensive second set of books to keep at home.
If these options aren’t available it is important to address the backpack itself. Look for a backpack with two wide padded straps. Make sure that the straps are tightened so the pack is as close to the body as possible. Encourage the student to use both straps rather than just one. Some backpacks have a waist strap to help distribute the weight more evenly.
Utilize all the compartments of the backpack wisely. It is best to place the heaviest objects in the center of the backpack which will also distribute the weight to the central core of the body providing the safest way of carrying the load.
Encourage the student to tell you if pain develops. It is important not to ignore a student who is having discomfort of their back. It is very common for students of all ages to develop back pain. As a chiropractor, I see young people who have back pain frequently. If pain does develop a chiropractic examination and possible treatment can correct the cause of the pain most of the time.
With a little foresight and prudence, return to school and wearing of a backpack can accomplish what needs to be done without causing physical problems.
Many people are diagnosed with a condition called spinal stenosis. This article will discuss what this condition entails and possible natural treatment.
Stenosis is a medical term that simply means there is an abnormal narrowing of an opening of the body. For instance, hardening of the arteries would be a form of stenosis that narrows the opening of the blood vessel. Another example would be a large cyst or polyp causing intestinal tract stenosis. Spinal stenosis simply means that the spinal canal is narrowed which might cause pressure on the spinal cord.
Let’s delve into a bit of human anatomy to learn more about this. The human spine is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae. These bones have a central canal which we know of as the spinal canal. This canal is in the shape of an oval. It provides a passageway for our spinal cord. We know that our brain is in our skull. The bottom of the brain narrows down and becomes our spinal cord. The spinal cord descends through the spinal canal. On either side of the spinal vertebrae there are openings which allow spinal nerves to exit between the vertebrae and go to various areas of the body.
Normally there is ample room within the spinal canal for the spinal cord. However, there are situations in which the spinal canal can narrow leading to stenosis. If someone has trauma to their neck from a whiplash accident we’re aware that this can lead to a buildup of excess bone growth such as spurs and arthritis. This buildup of the bone can narrow the spinal canal. Another example of a cause of spinal stenosis would be someone who does extreme physical labor such as a construction worker or a nursing home aid. These folks tend to have excessive repetitive stress to their lower back. Over many years this can also lead to excessive bone buildup causing spine stenosis. Many people develop protruding, bulging or herniated discs which also can extend into the spinal canal and impinge upon the spinal cord. All these are common examples of causes of spinal stenosis.
If there is spinal stenosis in the neck, also called the cervical spine, a person might note limited neck motions, soreness and achiness in the neck and possibly numbness and tingling into the upper extremities. Should spinal stenosis occur in the lower back it can cause back pain and leg pain.
Traditional medical care for spinal stenosis includes pain and anti-inflammatory medications, spinal injections and surgery. Each of these are invasive and have known side effects.
Chiropractic care is a gentle, safe, natural method one can investigate for spinal stenosis treatment. Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to analyze the spine. They check for misaligned and improperly moving vertebrae. They can evaluate x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. If there is arthritis, bone spurs and disc abnormalities which is causing spinal stenosis chiropractors will determine where in the spine it is located and to what degree it is causing a patient’s pain. By utilizing chiropractic adjustments to realign the spinal bones chiropractors may be able to relieve irritation to the spinal joints and nerves. For many people suffering from spinal stenosis this can give them some pain relief.
It should be said that if degenerative changes such as spurs, arthritis and degenerating discs exist the chiropractor will not be able to reverse those structural abnormalities. But for 125 years chiropractors have been able to give patients varying pain relief for spinal stenosis conditions.
He relieved me of my pain, educated me on the health of my spine, and gave me some exercises to do daily.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?
Running, reading, and listening to music
HOW HAS CHIROPRACTIC HELPED YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?
I can live my daily life exercising and working as a dental hygienist without pain.
HOW HAS CHIROPRACTIC HELPED OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?
I have been treated by Dr. Schofield since 2018 and I couldn’t be happier! He has completely relieved me of my pain so I can clean teeth comfortably as a dental hygienist.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO OTHERS?
As we age the general health of our bodies declines, seeing Dr. Schofield on a routine basis has helped me be a healthy person! I have enjoyed learning more about my body and spine and how to correctly care for myself.