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Does spinal pain affect children differently than adults?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Spinal pain is much less common in children than adults and it is more likely to be a sign of a serious underlying condition in children. If your child's spinal or back pain lasts more than a few days or is severe, you should talk to your child's doctor right away. Spinal pain in children might be a symptom of something as simple as a pulled muscle, but it could also be a sign of something as serious as a traumatic injury, a spinal deformity, a stress fracture, a spinal infection, or, in rare cases, a spinal tumor. Young children might not be able to communicate about what is bothering them. Symptoms to watch for include sleep disruption, tiring easily or other changes in your child's activity level, problems with walking or maintaining balance, changes in appetite, loss of bladder or bowel control, muscle weakness, and fever. These symptoms warrant immediate medical attention if they accompany spinal pain in a child.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.