Causes of Spinal Stress in Children

Causes of Spinal Stress in Children

Back pain and trauma to the spine that is caused by heavy backpacks has recently received national attention. Many parents are now becoming aware of spinal stress in their children. There are numerous causes of children’s spinal injuries that are not as well recognized and may be overlooked. Basically, any trauma to your child’s spine can cause misalignment of the vertebrae. This can result in immediate or delayed spinal problems.

These traumas, or injuries, come in two forms: micro or macro. Macro-traumas are the obvious falls, bumps and crashes that we know children experience frequently. Micro-traumas are those positional, postural, repetitive injuries that we do not frequently associate with an onset to spinal distortion and thus future disorders.

These injuries may cause immediate pain, but many times the injury does not show itself as pain initially. Many times back and neck pain is caused by previous injuries that are then exacerbated through repetitive postural habits that aggravate the original trauma. As parents, it is important that we become more aware of the macro- and micro-traumas that our children experience as they grow and develop. Many, if not most of the micro-traumas are related to posture and position and can be avoided by making better choices.

Macro-traumas, many of which are associated with injury, are not as easy to avoid since most children experience occasional falls and injuries. Realize that just because the child appears to be ok, since there may be no bleeding or bruising that does not rule out that trauma has occurred and vertebrae in the spine may have become misaligned. These spinal misalignments, if left untreated, may affect the child in years to come. Old injuries may distort future spinal development. This can cause pain in later years and even more importantly, if the misaligned spinal bones are interfering with nerve function, many health problems may result in the future.

It is very important that potential injuries to the spine be addressed immediately to avoid future complications associated with these injuries. Your Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to detect and correct spinal misalignments as soon as they happen. This gives your child the maximum potential for healing and repair.

Causes of Macro-traumas during infancy include:

  • Operative deliveries (c-sections, forceps, vacuum extraction, even deliveries by hand)
  • Falls from beds and changing tables
  • Falls on buttocks repeatedly when learning how to walk
  • Automobile accidents (even minor accidents like fender benders)
  • Tossing the baby up into air (causes whip lash)

Causes of Micro-traumas during infancy include:

  • Keeping babies in infant carriers for long periods without allowing enough belly time
  • Using walkers and jolly jumpers
  • Encouraging baby to stand before they are physically ready
  • Poor diapering skills

Causes of Macro-traumas throughout childhood include:

  • Injuries on the Playground or during play in general
  • Falls during activities such as skateboarding, running, biking, etc.
  • Sports injuries and trauma
  • Autombile accidents, even minor fender benders

Causes of Micro-traumas throughout childhood include:

  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time, even in quality chairs
  • Sitting on the floor with their legs straight out in front of them
  • Lying on their backs with their head propped up by pillows to read or watch TV
  • Sleeping on their stomachs