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It's all parents can do these days to keep their overstimulated, technology-crazed children from spending all day on their smartphones, laptops, tablets and video game consoles. While technology continues to improve our lives in many ways, not the least of which is our ability to access information – a good thing when raising our children, if appropriately managed – a major drawback of the same technology is repetitive-stress injuries. Hour after endless hour typing, texting and scrolling can put the arms and wrists in particular at risk for injury; not to mention how poor posture caused by hunching over a keyboard or peering into a tiny screen can impact the back, neck and shoulders.
Case in point: A recent study of teens (12-16 years old) found that "compared with those using the computer less than 3.6 hours / week, computer use of ≥ 14 hours / week was associated with moderate/severe increase in computer-associated musculoskeletal pain at all anatomic sites, and moderate / severe inconvenience to everyday life due to low back and head pain."
You might think that 14 hours a week or more of computer use is a little extreme, but not if you consider that's only two hours a day. Teens in particular likely spend that much, if not much more, on a computer every day, whether doing homework or browsing the Internet.
Solving the problem involves several strategies:
About half of all children will suffer from low-back pain at some point, with nearly 15% experiencing frequent or ongoing pain. In North America, the primary providers of spinal manipulation are chiropractors. More studies are now being done to evaluate the role of chiropractic in treating back pain in minors.
In a study appearing in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 15 randomly chosen Canadian chiropractors provided data on their pediatric patients between the ages of 4 to 18 and suffering from lower back pain. Information was gathered on treatment type and outcome of care, based on patient-rated pain scales. Characteristics of the children with back pain included:
The most common diagnosis was a "subluxation," appearing in half of these children. Patients were almost universally treated with spinal adjustments, with few requiring other forms of therapy. After six weeks of treatment, major improvement (defined as "much improved" or "resolved") was seen in nearly 90% of patients, based on one of the pain scales, and there were no reported complications in any of the patients.
In children, as in adults, chiropractic treatment is extremely effective for back pain, regardless of the cause or characteristics. Your doctor of chiropractic can provide more information about treating childhood back pain.
T’was the night before Christmas, but Santa could not be found. There were no jingle bells or reindeer sound. There were to be no toys under trees, for Santa was sick. There would be no holiday blessings from the once jolly St. Nick. The children were saddened and no laughter sounded, Christmas was here but, Santa was grounded. As the elves wandered helplessly, what did they see? A great big sign with the letters D.C.
Now they knew Santa was not one to try a new tactic, but since medicine had failed they talked him into trying Chiropractic. Santa entered the office with a smile and a nod, there was no mistaking this place was of God. The children were playing and as far as he could tell, everyone left there smiling and well.
In no time at all, just a few tics of the clock, he was in the exam room talking to Doctor. “It must be my age, the stress, and all of the travel; I’m feeling my health starting to unravel. It used to be so easy just carrying dolls, trains, and toy cars, now it’s computers, iPods, and combo DVD/VCRS. If you looked in my sleigh at the size of my pack, I’m sure you would tell me it ruins my back”.
The loving Chiropractor took Santa and X-rayed his spine, and found he had no arc-of-life and several bones out of line. Santa committed to being adjusted for the duration, the moment he learned he had life threatening Subluxation. He got on the table and then with a click, the Doc started adjusting the ailing St. Nick. When Santa was finished most of his sickness felt like it was gone. Once again Santa flowed with love and good cheer, now that his spine and nerve system were clear.
He shouldered his bag and jumped into his sleigh, thinking it had been centuries since he felt this way. Then he shouted, “I’ll bring in Mrs. Kringle and the elves to be checked before the first of the year,
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD YEAR!”
You may have been awakened in the night by your 5-year-old child crying from the pain in her legs that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. This condition, usually referred to as “growing pains” (despite having nothing much to do with the growth process), is relatively common.
Growing pains normally appear in approximately 25% to 45% of children, both boys and girls, and usually show up within two age ranges: between 3 and 5, and between 8 and 12. Though it is such a common condition, surprisingly little is known about what it really is and what causes it.
There is no evidence that growing bones cause growing pains. The bones and joints are generally not the reported source of the pain, but rather the muscles of the legs (and sometimes the arms). Most children report feeling pain that originates in front of their thighs, in their calves, and sometimes behind their knees. There are no outward signs of inflammation, such as warm, red, swollen and tender joints, but the pain can range from mild to excruciating.
One theory is that the pain is due to the normal active running and jumping that most children do every day. Symptoms most often show up in the late afternoon or just before bed, when sore and tired muscles may begin to make themselves known. Sometimes the pain will even wake the child from sleep, though the pain is normally gone by morning. Poor posture and emotional upset have also been linked with some cases of growing pains, but this is not the case in all children.
There is no particular cure for growing pains, and children with the condition may experience it on and off for a few years. There are, however, a few things you can do to help ease the pain. Massaging the child’s legs and getting them to do some stretches has been shown to be effective. A warm bath or heating pad also helps to relax sore muscles, and if the pain is bad you can try a dose of acetaminophen. By the time your child reaches his or her teenage years, the growing pains should vanish naturally.
As pain in the legs may be caused by other conditions, such as arthritis or an infection, if your child has a limp, fever, swelling, or is not able to walk and play normally, you should take him or her to a doctor to rule out other possible causes.