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Growing Epidemic of Back Pain Among Children in Britain

According to a report in the October 22, 2002 issue of the "Guardian Unlimited" from England, back pain among children is becoming a growing epidemic. Professor Peter Buckle, of the University of Surrey's Robens centre for health ergonomics in Guildford England, as many as 40% of schoolchildren could be affected. He also noted a Danish study which showed that 51% of 13- to 16-year-olds had reported lower back pain in the previous year, as well as a study in the north-west of England which found 24% of 11 to 14-year-olds had complained of backache in the previous month.

In response the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), is recommending that parents bring their children in to see chiropractors. Dr. Stephen Hughes, a member of the BCA says, "It's something I'm seriously worried about." "The critical issue is that these youngsters are still growing, and they are already experiencing difficulties. The spine is incredibly resilient and usually it can put up with a lot of wear and tear over many years before it starts to actually hurt. When you're getting real pain in a child that means there's already going to be some considerable inflammation - so by the stage you see them it's an established problem

The article blames several causes for the back problems in children. They mention the long hours sitting at desks, lack of physical exercise, carrying heavy loads of books and working at computers for long periods as some of the possible culprits. According to the article the suggested remedies for this situation include encouraging children to play sport outside of school as well as looking for opportunities for active family pursuits such as walking, cycling, swimming, and a chiropractic spinal checkup.