HELPING CHILDREN WITH BACK PAIN

Back Pain and Children

Like adults, children can suffer from back pain as a result of a variety of lifestyle activities. And like adults, there are a number of things that parents and carers can do to prevent issues arising.

If your child does complain of back pain, it is important to seek advice from qualified professional, such as an osteopath.  An osteopath will help to establish the cause of the problem and will provide advice on treatment, or refer you for further examinations if required.

Good school bags

Children are often required to carry bags full of books, PE kits, musical instruments and other equipment to and from school. Parents should try to limit the weight of school bags as much as possible and invest in a good quality backpack that the child should wear across both shoulders, ideally with a strap across the chest to keep the load close to the body. Packing the bag with the heaviest items (such as laptops and heavy books) closest to the child’s body will also make carrying more comfortable and less likely to strain the muscles of the back.

Limit screen time

Looking down to use smartphones, tablets, and laptops for an extended period can pull the back and neck into an unnatural posture, resulting in pain. Placing limits on the time spent using devices and encouraging regular breaks may help to avoid problems. If your child has to use a laptop for homework, consider purchasing a support that elevates the screen to a height that allows him or her to sit up straight to look at it.

Regular exercise

A sedentary lifestyle is known to contribute to the risk of developing back pain, as well as contributing to obesity. Regular physical activity helps to keep the core muscles that support the spine strong and maintain flexibility, which will help to avoid back pain. Encourage lots of active play, walking, running, swimming, cycling etc to keep your child fit and healthy.

The right bed and pillow

Good quality sleep is vital for both physical and mental development. Make sure that your child has a good sized comfortable bed with a firm mattress and a pillow that supports their head without lifting it too high.

Osteopathic Treatment for your child’s back pain

Your child’s back pain may benefit from an osteopathic treatment.  Using gentle manual therapy, an osteopath will help to resolve any stresses and strains that are affecting their body and relieve their pain. They can also provide lifestyle advice that may help to prevent the problem from coming back.

If you would like to have your child seen by one of our experienced osteopaths at Calmer Clinics in Pimlico – David, Alexia, Laura or Owen, click here to check their profiles and book your appointment via our contact page or by phone.

 


CAN TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE HELP YOU GET ‘BACK’ TO HEALTH

acupuncture-therapy

As a leading cause of disability[1] and one of the main reasons for work-related sickness, lower back pain is estimated to cost the UK economy over £12 billion per year[2].

In the UK the condition is responsible for 37% of all chronic pain in men and 44% in women[3] but in a bid to cope with the condition, a study by the British Acupuncture Council reveals that 74% of people use painkillers as a quick fix to relieve discomfort.

With 2.3 million acupuncture treatments carried out each year, traditional acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today. Based on ancient principles, which go back nearly two thousand years, acupuncture involves gently placing extremely fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body to trigger a healing response.

Despite traditional acupuncture’s widely recognised health benefits, many people are missing the point when it comes to this ancient Chinese medicine. Statistics show that 41% of people would only consider traditional acupuncture as a last resort. Here Mieke Rainbird-Chill, a qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council, offers her advice about how traditional acupuncture can provide a more long-term health benefit.

10 Ways Traditional Acupuncture can help with Lower Back Pain

  • Talk about it

“Don’t live with pain, have it treated! If you’re not happy with your current situation or diagnosis get another opinion. Traditional acupuncturists will be happy to discuss your problem and help you understand whether acupuncture can help you before you commit to having any treatment.”

  • Tailored for you

“Traditional acupuncture is an effective therapy that treats the whole person. This means each patient is treated as a unique individual so the acupuncture points chosen for one person with lower back pain may be different for another person with the same symptoms. This bespoke style is one of the key reasons traditional acupuncture is so effective as it’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.”

  • Pinpoint pain

“Contrary to popular belief, traditional acupuncture is an incredibly relaxing experience. Some people, of course, will be naturally wary of the needles but they’re sterile and the same width as a human hair so they’re extremely fine! To guarantee a high standard of safety and care, it’s important to find a fully qualified and insured acupuncturist registered with the British Acupuncture Council.”

  • Natural pain relief

“By stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, traditional acupuncture helps release “happy” hormones including endorphins and oxytocin, which are the body’s own natural pain-relieving hormones. These hormones can change the way the body processes pain, helping to reduce discomfort and distress.”

  • Reduces inflammation

“Traditional acupuncture has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling by stimulating blood flow to the affected area and dispersing excess fluids to promote healing and aid recovery.”

  • Get moving again!

“Many patients find that even after one session of traditional acupuncture their movement and mobility will be improved and their muscles don’t feel as stiff. The number of sessions needed will depend on each individual and whether their pain is chronic or not. A traditional acupuncturist will put together a bespoke treatment plan during your initial consultation.”

  • Minimise medication

“Many back pain sufferers are sick and tired of being continuously on medication (understandably!). Traditional acupuncture can potentially reduce the need for the long-term use of medications without the side effects often attributed to some pharmaceutical drugs.”

  • Better outlook

“The holistic approach of traditional acupuncture means that the whole person is treated, both body and mind. These two are often linked, especially when there is chronic pain. Once a patient has started to feel the benefit of treatment, the therapy can often restore a feeling of hope and positivity.”

  • Cost-effective

“A 2006 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that a short course of acupuncture compared with usual treatment was cost-effective in the long term for persistent lower back pain. Those people, given acupuncture, recorded higher levels of satisfaction and fewer complaints than patients treated with conventional medicines, which included painkillers and anti-inflammatories.”

  • Complementary

“Finally, if you’re reliant on your painkilling tablets you’ll be pleased to hear that traditional acupuncture works ver well alongside modern medication. In fact, it can even speed up the recovery process. Be sure to consult your GP before undertaking numerous treatment plans. “

About the British Acupuncture Council

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is the UK’s largest governing body of traditional acupuncture with over 3,000 members – each of whom is an accredited practitioner providing the highest standard of professional care to patients.

BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. This style of acupuncture differs from that used by medical practitioners such as physiotherapists where the technique of ‘dry needling’ is adopted. Although both practices use needles, dry needling aims for ‘trigger points’ whereas traditional acupuncture is based on the meridian system. Medical acupuncturists usually have fewer training hours in the technique of acupuncture and use it as part of their practice alongside conventional treatments.

To book an appointment with Mieke Rainbird-Chill – our qualified and experienced Acupuncturist, give us a call or check her details here: Acupuncture Treatments .

[1] Newton JN, Briggs ADM, Murray CJL, Dicker D, Foreman KJ, Wang H, et al. Changes in health in England, with analysis by English regions and areas of deprivation, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet. 2015;386(10010):2257–74.

[2] The economic burden of back pain in the UK

[3] Health survey for England 2011