- What You Should Know About Back Pain:
- Most new lower back pain is caused by lifting heavy objects. Lifting while the back is twisted is a common cause. Muscle overuse from exercise also causes strained back muscles.
- Pain is not the only symptom. Walking a little bent over or stiff may occur for a few days.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Pain Medicine:
- To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
- Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
- Use as needed.
- Reason: Helps back pain and muscle spasms.
- Cold Pack for Pain:
- For pain or swelling, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth.
- Put it on the sore muscles for 20 minutes.
- Repeat 4 times on the first day, then as needed.
- Reason: Helps with the pain and muscle spasms.
- Caution: Avoid frostbite.
- Use Heat After 48 Hours:
- If pain lasts over 2 days, put heat on the sore muscle.
- Use a heat pack, heating pad or warm wet washcloth.
- Do this for 10 minutes, then as needed.
- Reason: Increase blood flow and improve healing.
- Caution: Avoid burns.
- Sleep on the Side:
- Sleep on the side with a pillow between the knees.
- If your child only sleeps on the back, put a pillow under the knees.
- Avoid sleeping on the stomach.
- The mattress should be firm. Do not sleep on a waterbed.
- Avoid any sports or work that increase the pain.
- Avoid lifting or jumping until well.
- After 48 hours, start gentle back stretching exercises.
- Complete bed rest is not needed.
- Prevent Backpack Pain:
- Limit the weight of what is carried. It needs to less than 15% of body weight. That means a 100-pound (45 kg) child should not carry more than 15 pounds (7 kg).
- A sign of carrying too much weight is having to lean forward when walking.
- Buy a well-made backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps.
- Never carry the pack on just one shoulder. Reason: causes shoulder and neck pain.
- What to Expect:
- New back pain without a reason most often goes away in a few days.
- Back pain from muscle overuse (strained back muscles) goes away in 1 to 2 weeks.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Walks different than normal for more than 3 days
- Pain starts to shoot into the leg
- Fever occurs
- Pain lasts more than 2 weeks
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Pain gets worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.