3 percent of individuals with progressive curvature may eventually experience severe problems that can include scoliosis and back pain, spinal problems, and nerve compression causing numbness, weakness, and leg pain.
How to Maintain Spine Health
Starting a good practice early in life is the best way to maintain healthy habits in the long run. It is true that when it comes to back pain, we don’t often think about adolescents and children. But believe it or not, every child needs to establish healthy spine habits sooner rather than later.
Lack of physical activity, heavy school backpacks, and poor posture are all common things that can contribute to back pain in kids. That is why, as parents, it is important for you to understand how you can help prevent your child from developing this problem. Here are some tips for parents that will surely help their children embrace healthy spine habits and prevent back pain from developing as they get older.
Help Kids Develop Spine Health Habits
Did you know that around 80% of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives? The best solution to this is to make your children aware of their spine and develop good habits from a young age! A crucial factor that can prevent spine or back pain is staying healthy. Maintaining overall wellness means following a balanced diet, doing appropriate exercise and physical activity regularly, having restful sleep, and making positive lifestyle choices. Are you wondering how to help kids develop healthy habits from an early age? Of course, there are easy and fun ways to ensure optimal spine health for your child.
Learning to stand and sit in positions that promote appropriate body alignment and support the spine are some helpful habits to develop early in life. Also, other factors that can prevent chronic back pain and other issues down the road are incorporating physical activity, wearing appropriate footwear, supportive sleep surfaces, and good body mechanics.
Good Sitting Posture
You can keep reminding your kids to sit straight. Also, the height of their chair should be adjusted with their work desk. Changing positions periodically can help prevent slouching and hunching. It is true that when your child is spending up to eight hours a day sitting at a desk, their sitting position will matter to their spine health. There are many kids who tend to sit in a lazy, droopy way or sit with their shoulders rounded. This puts excessive strain on the spine. You can encourage them to practice good sitting posture by:
- Keeping their feet flat on the floor right in front.
- Holding arms at the sides in an L-shape at the elbow.
- Keeping the back straight while sitting on a chair.
- Keeping the head straight and adjusting the entire body when looking in a different direction always help.
That is why, before school starts, help your child practice good posture at home.
Good Standing Posture
Good standing posture is squared shoulders, a straight back, chin up, chest out, and stomach in. You are in good posture if you can draw a straight line from your ear through the shoulder, hip, knee, to the mid part of your ankle.
Playing Games or Texting on a Tablet
Looking down at the phone or tab screen for a long time can cause a tremendous amount of stress on the spine. Instead of looking down, advise your child to raise that device to eye level. Since some children often spend a long time looking at mobile devices, the strain on the spine can be serious.
Choose the Right Backpack for Spine Health
Your child should not carry more than 10% to 15% of their body weight. Also, they should not wear the bag across the shoulder. The pack should closely sit against the back and the weight should be evenly distributed. Kids have to carry heavy books. So, if the pack does not sit well evenly distributing the weight, it can put downward pressure on the lower back. Buying a backpack with padded straps and a waistband can prevent this problem to a great extent. The waistband helps distribute the load equally across the shoulders and does not let the backpack pull the back. Additionally, using both straps is necessary because using only one puts uneven pressure on the spine.
Pick The Right Pair Of Shoes
Most of the students prefer wearing Flip-flops and Crocs. But these are not a popular option to wear all day. Wearing the wrong shoes can put unnecessary stress on the spine. Moreover, flip-flops can cause a student to trip and fall, causing injury to the back. Instead, wear comfortable, well-fighting, and supportive sneakers for daily use.
Sports and Exercise (Do Not Forget To Warm Up)
Back pain is a common problem among athletes of all ages. However, that does not mean your child has to let go of sports. They can exercise to maintain a healthy back. In fact, regular exercise can play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is advantageous for improving back health. One thing to remember is that before participating in sports or general exercise, individuals must adequately stretch and warm up. It will prevent strains and sprains.
Staying active and doing exercise helps build muscles, which is great for supporting the spine. A strong core helps hold the spine straight. In students, back pain often triggers by sitting in class for long periods. So, you can suggest your child do simple stretching and strengthening exercises between the classes.
You can tell them to try Double Arm Doorway Stretch because this is a fun and quick one. All you need is to stand in a doorway and set your hands on each side of the frame. Stand straight, then lean your upper body forward and then pull it back. Continue it for some time. It will make you feel a stretch inside your shoulder muscles and chest which is good.
Following a Healthy Diet for Spine Health
For children, life can be hectic, especially during the school year. To keep up with this it is crucial to maintain a healthy diet because it will support your health. Essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids can considerably help reduce inflammation. It can effectively manage and prevent back pain. Foods you must include in your child’s diet are greens, salmon, cherries, carrots, watermelon, etc. In other words, it will be great if you pack kids a healthy lunch instead of giving them money to buy lunch.
Lift Things Off The Floor The Right Way to Keep a Healthy Spine
While lifting something, especially heavy ones off the floor, do not bend over the waist. Instead, bend the knees and squat down straight and lift the heavy object slowly. This will put less strain on your spine.
Choose The Right Sleep Surface
While choosing a sleep surface, make sure it is firm enough to support your spine. Back sleepers should put a pillow under the knees and side sleepers should put a pillow between the knees.
Does Your Child Have Spine Health Concerns?
Quite likely, you may not have thought about these things yet because your child is pretty young now. However, when it comes to health, you are never too young to make a good start! It’s always the perfect time to create and adjust new habits. Implementing the above tips will surely help your kids to prevent future back and neck issues. If you have concerns about your child’s back health, consult one of our spine doctors today.
We’re here to help STOP THE PAIN
If you are an adult living with scoliosis or have a child with this condition and need a doctor who specializes in orthopedic surgery,
call the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment today.