Patient in the therapy gym

Jun 25, 2020 / Scoliosis & Spine

Back Tips for Parents of Teens

Back pain is unfortunately a common complaint in teenagers. Without making some changes in lifestyle and habits, it can continue to worsen and become a lifelong problem. Developing good practices in youth including posture, exercise and proper body mechanics will pay off for long-term back health. How early is too early? Once a child enters school and begins organized recreational activities is the best time to start so that good habits can be developed and maintained over time.

Parents can model and encourage these healthy concepts. 

Stand and sit correctly
  • When standing, keep ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips and hips over ankles. 
  • When sitting, choose a chair with a back support. Keep feet flat on the floor.
  • Stay away from sitting on beds or floors to do projects or work.
  • Keep your phone, computer or book at eye level - looking down causes neck and shoulder strain and pain.
Lift and move with caution
  • Use proper body mechanics when lifting. Keep the object close to you, do not arch your back, bend both knees to squat and do not twist.
  • Avoid excessive hyperextension of back.
  • Limit weight of bags and backpacks to 10% or less of your bodyweight.
Move more
  • Get up and move around every 30-45 minutes. Don’t sit for long periods of time.
  • Stay active, find sports or recreational activities that are fun for you.
  • Look for activities to do as a family: yoga, taking walks together, swimming, riding bikes.
  • Light stretching of the trunk and legs before and after exercise. 
Cammie Gray, P.T., M.S., warns kids and adults alike, “If you rest, you rust. Keep moving. Being sedentary or not addressing problems that keep you from being active can have long-lasting consequences.” She encourages others to learn to listen to their bodies. If it doesn’t feel good, stop. Consult a medical professional if you have pain that does not improve with practicing these back health tips. 

You May Also Like: