Chronic Lower Back Pain In Children?(Part 20)

0 Reviewed by Back Pain Advisor

In this post, in a brief aside, I’d like to talk about the future of our countries, that is, the children especially in regard to back pain or the possibility of such pain in the future.

Not only is back pain and sciatica of epidemic proportion in adults but it’s also growing in children. I believe that there’s a main but often overlooked contributory factor for this being a teacher myself namely that children’s school bags are simply overloaded with school books and supplies such as games kits, cookery equipment, text books etc.

I’m certainly not one to ‘molly coddle’ children however compared to the past and I used to have a tinsy weensy school bag myself children tend to carry around a lot each and every day.  The constant carrying of excess baggage (we’re talking secondary not primary level here ) can cause spinal muscle fatigue and consequently spasms in young backs.

Just look at their posture too it is slumped by an early age possibly as a consequence of this heavy carrying five days of the week.

In relation to the issue of school bags, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated just a few years ago that more than 13,260 injuries related to children’s school backpacks were treated at doctors’ offices, clinics, and emergency rooms each year. The Commission recommended that children should be taught to pick up their backpacks whilst bending both knees and also they should visit their locker or desk between classes to lighten loads or replace books.

However, in many schools lockers and private desks aren’t available they have never been available in schools I’ve taught in come to think of it. Bearing this in mind school planners should think ahead and plan for lockers in the future and I wonder how far away we are from legal lawsuits against schools for back pack related injuries?

There is a secondary factor in regard to the issue of children and back pain though which is more hidden and therefore more insidious.

I am concerned here with the emotional well being of children and the effect this may be having on their chronic pain levels in the future. ARe they being taught emotional awareness skills at all? As emotional maturity isn’t being taught in schools and isn’t on the curriculum then this void of teaching where children would learn from their close knot families or support networks is missing for many.

As these structures have broken down or disintegrated more and more children are growing up emotional unawarene, using the TV, games and the internet to escape their painful or unpleasant emotions and repress them because they don’t know how to handle them. This then becomes toxic when buried deep down and comes out in addictive behaviours, self harming, eating problems, anxiety and depression. Chronic pain syndromes are also a fruit of this behaviour.

I think that if you read what Dr John Sarno has to say in his books (see Mindbody Prescription) you will see where the problems are lying for the future. The young will be put in a precarious position in later life.

Without emotional awareness skills to deal with painful emotions more and more children will repress their grief, anger, frustration and fears and this can all build up in the unconscious mind, a vast emotional ‘dumping ground’ in the mind if we let it.

As adult life becomes paradoxically easier but emotionally harder in success driven, materialistic societies,  the pressures on children to succeed, be beautiful and clever must be overwhelming , this can trigger a lot of internal anger and rebellion.

I wonder if we’re not sitting on an emotional volcano of depression or tension related pain in the young, our future. You only have to visit ‘Yahoo Ask’ to share their angst and desperate questions. Teenagers are eager to fit in and feel happy with their ‘normal’ lives and bodies in our celebrity culture! Any unpleasant emotions generated by such frustrations and inadequacies will most often be repressed and build up into a resevoir deep down of anger which may come out in five, ten or twenty years time as major depressions, anxieties or disorders.

Never before has emotional maturity been so needed as it is now in the young and yet who is teaching it to them? Teenagers are under enormous pressure to be slim, beautiful, clever and highly successful these could be setting them up for emotional problems down the line if they don’t know how to handle the pressures and the emotions generated by them properly.

This volcano of repressed emotions will only be exacerbated by hours spent in virtual worlds such as on Facebook, the net or on TV or games. Such practices allow a person to repress their thoughts and emotions and never feel in contact with their ‘real’ and true inner self.

Mental illness cases will continue to grow in the young combined with increased substance abuse and bullying which is another escape from the reality of unpleasant emotions too. As many teenagers may have overloaded their emotional ‘garbage heap’ in the unconscious mind at an early age (through repression through technology!) then the incidences of pain disorders, anxiety disorders and depression will grow and I just hope I’m wrong in my observations.

This post may sound depressing and it is in a way but there is hope. I believe that the whole area of mind body medicine will be THE area of the 21st Century and that back pain can be made a thing of the past much as the same as ulcers are mostly in the past these days.

Knowing the REAL ROOT CAUSE of the majority of chronic lower back pain is at the crux of helping our young avoid future painful conditions which are becoming rampant in our societies. Please join me in spreading the message.



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