Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Backache (for Teenagers)
- You have back pain.
- Usually the middle or lower part of the back is involved.
- The pain is worsened by bending.
- The muscles on either side of your spine are tender or in
- Mainly occurs in adolescents.
Backaches are usually symptomatic of a strain of some of the
200 muscles in the back that allow us to stand upright.
Often the triggering event is carrying something too heavy,
lifting from an awkward position, or overexertion of back
muscles (for example, from digging).
The pain and discomfort are usually gone in 1 to 2 weeks.
Recurrences are common.
- Pain-relief medicines
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen four times a day.
Continue this until 24 hours have passed without any
pain. This medicine is the most important part of the
therapy because back pain causes muscle spasm and these
medicines can greatly reduce both the spasm and the
- Local heat
A heating pad or hot water bottle applied to the most
painful area for 20 minutes helps to relieve muscle
spasm. Do this whenever the pain flares up.
- Sleeping position
The most comfortable sleeping position is usually on
your side. The mattress should be firm or reinforced
with a board.
Avoid lifting, jumping, horseback riding, motorcycle
riding, and exercise until you are completely well.
Complete bed rest is unnecessary.
The only way to prevent future backaches is to keep your
back muscles in excellent physical condition. This will
require 5 minutes of back and abdominal exercises every
day. Helpful strengthening exercises are sit-ups, 6-
inch leg raises, flattening your back against the floor,
and tucks of your leg to the chest. Also do stretching
exercises. Don't do strengthening exercises when you
have active back pain, but continue doing the stretching
exercises. Remember to lift objects with your leg
muscles and not by bending or twisting your back.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
- The pain becomes very severe AND persists more than
2 hours after taking a pain medicine.
- You can't walk.
- You start feeling very sick.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- The pain is no better after 3 days of treatment.
- The pain is still present after 2 weeks.
- You have other concerns or questions.