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Chronic back/neck pain in 14 yr. old

poefanppoefan Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Chronic Pain
My 14 yr. old son has chronic pain from his neck to his lower back. He describes it as more of an uncomfortable, tingly feeling more than pain, but it bothers him nonetheless. We went to physical therapy for a while, and the exercises seemed to help him a little bit, but the pain has just recently gotten worse. He does not play sports, and x-rays were taken of his back and revealed nothing wrong. We are baffled as to what is causing the pain, we were wondering if it could be related to his posture, and also his gait is off as he often "in-toes" without even knowing it. Could this be related to the pain? Please, any replies would be great. Thank you.


  • I would assume that your son has been checked for scoliosis.

    Posture can definitely cause pain and mechanical problems with the spine...but these types of problems are hard to track down.

    If your pediatrician is not able to help you, I would suggest looking for a physiatrist. The other name for this specialty is "doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation." This specialty is very good at making diagnoses and figuring out how to return a person to full funtionality. You can read about what they do here:


    Otherwise, perhaps a physical therapist might be able to help, but you'd need to find one that is very experienced with orthopedic cases.

    I hope others will chime in with some ideas for you and your son.

    Good luck. You may have to do some research to find just the right person to work with your son.

  • Thank you for the advice, and yes, he has been checked for scoliosis and found only a slight curvature of the spine- nothing to be worried about. I will definitely look into finding a physiatrist. I just cannot stand to see him in pain.
  • Thank you for the advice, and yes, he has been checked for scoliosis and found only a slight curvature of the spine- nothing to be worried about. I will definitely look into finding a physiatrist. I just cannot stand to see him in pain.
  • my daughter is 14 too and she has the same thing .she is slim and fit {dancer/gym etc} but about 6 months ago she started with lower back pain and then shoulder pain ..we had her to the hospital for am MRI scan and it was found that she had a bulge at L5!! she is having physio at the moment and we have bought her a memory foam overlay for her bed she is taking anti inflammatories and is doing well hopefully an operation can be avoided
  • Has your child ever seen an osteopathic physician? A DO instead of an MD? They complete the same medical curriculum, but DO's learn osteopathic manipulation which is based on the theory that the body wants to heal itself. Through a hands on assessment of joint alignment, etc. osteopaths can often help.

    One of the first things they check for is symmetry in leg length. Even an 1/8th of an inch's unevenness between the legs impacts the pubic syphyses, sacroliac joints, vertebral column, all the way up. It seems simple, but in the growing skeleton, imbalance and asymmetry can have profound implications.

    Best of all it's medication free. All of my physicians are DO's now, even the specialists because they put their hands on me before their prescription pads come out. Just an idea-
  • I had my first lower spine injury herniation at L5/S1 when I was also 14 years old. Your sons almost sounds like a possible nerve injury, but I dont have experience in the mid to upper spine. I would 100% for sure get an MRI and go over it with a neurosurgeon.

    I did not feel my injury happen and it just got gradually worse. My posture was horrible and thought to be a possible factor, I also played sports, and once in a while lifted weights. I first tried conservative methods. Physical therapy I thought made my pain worse, same with the chiropractor. It finally got to the point where I could barely walk and I ended up having a open disectomy at University of Michigan Health System which was a complete success.

    Unfortunately I did not follow any orders given and herniated again 10 years later.

    Good luck.
  • I have a daughter who is now 15. When she was 12 she had tightness in her leg that later turned into intense pain and it spread throughout her back and other limbs. Months later and after many visits to a variety of specialists, she was diagnosed with RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) also called CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Symptom). From what you described, I doubt that it is RSD. However, if you don't find resolution from your pediatrician or DO, I would encourage to find a children's hospital that has a pain management center and have your son evaluated. The sooner RSD is caught, the better the chances for remission.

    Again, I doubt that this is the case for him, and I certainly hope it isn't. The reason I bring it up is that it is a rare condition that seems to be poorly understood in the medical community, and many doctors/specialists won't even know how to diagnose it. After seeing my daughter suffer terribly for three years, I make every effort to increase awareness of the possibility of RSD for children in pain.

    I hope you find a quick and effective solution for your son!

    Take Care,
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