Scoliosis Research Society
SRS: Scoliosis Research Society

Scoliosis Research Society

Dedicated to the optimal care of patients with spinal deformity

Adolescent Back Pain

Adolescent back pain affects more than 50% of school-age patients. Parents are often confounded by the frequency and urgency of the complaints because, in many instances, their teens continue to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. Growing pains, overuseand muscular strains are often attributable to the pain, which typically resolve with time, stretching, and anti-inflammatory medications. If pain persists for months and anti-inflammatory drugs provide only minimal relief, the family should seek an evaluation. A clinicial exam will provide the following:

  • Location of the pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Lumbar spine range of motion
  • Hamstring muscle tightness
  • Muscle strength in the legs
  • Reflexes
  • Sensation in the legs

X-ray studies may be beneficial in ruling out less common causes of persistent adolescent back pain such as:

  • Juvenile Osteoporosis
  • Inflammation
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Sero-negative Arthritis
  • Neoplasm
  • Osteoid Osteoma
  • Congenital
  • L5-S1 Facet Hypoplasia
  • Developmental
  • Lumbar Scheuermann's
  • Trauma
  • Pars interarticularis (spondylolysis)

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