Back pain in children is becoming increasingly common for various reasons, most of the time the causes are not serious, but it is always worth getting advice from a professional such as an Osteopath.

An Osteopath can diagnose the cause and either provide treatment there and then, as well as giving tips on how to prevent back pain in the future or, refer your child to a specialist if symptoms are more serious and need further investigations.

What are some of the causes of back pain in children?

Structural abnormalities of the spine, such as a scoliosis, which is a very common condition.

A scoliosis is a curvature or twisting of the spine. Mild scoliosis can have no symptoms, but more severe scoliosis can lead to back pain and breathing issues.

Some scoliosis are temporary (functional scoliosis), due to things like twisting to look at computer screens or from playing tennis and over development of the muscles on the more dominant side. Functional scoliosis can be fully resolved with treatment.

Permanent or structural scoliosis may have congenital causes or follow severe injury and although may not be resolved, can be managed through treatment. Osteopathy can help with increasing the range of movement and helping other areas of the body that compensate.

Muscle or ligament strain

Lots of children are carrying very heavy bags to school or leaning over devices, such as mobile phones or laptops. This can affect their posture and lead to pain in the back and neck.  Another cause of muscle or ligament strain can be due to over-exertion in sports.
Osteopaths can help to relieve the pain, improve posture and provide advice on how to prevent back pain in the future.


Infections of the spine are less common. They will generally cause a child to feel quite unwell, run a fever and have back pain. There maybe redness and swelling over the bone that is infected and it is important to seek out professional diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Stress fracture

Stress fracture, is the fracture of a bone due to repetitive overuse. For instance, in sports such as gymnastics and diving where athletes are repetitively bending backwards, can lead to stress fractures over time. The pain from this type of injury usually develops gradually and gets worse on activity.

How can Osteopathy help children with back pain?

Osteopathy uses gentle manual therapy to help to detect and treat the causes of back pain. Lifestyle advice is also provided to help to prevent the pain and problem from recurring.

Back pain can disturb sport and other activities, but with the correct treatment protocol generally children can return to their full, normal activities without recurring problems or pain.

If your child is suffering from back pain, especially if it has lasted for a few days, at City Osteopathy and Physiotherapy we recommend you seek professional advice as soon as possible.

If you would like to book at appointment, please contact us on +65 6222 2451