View First Aid Advice
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|Causes & Health Information|
- Strained back muscles cause most of these symptoms:
- The pain is in the middle or lower back
- The pain is made worse by bending
- The muscles near the spine are tender to the touch
- The muscles may be tight (in spasm)
- New backaches in teens are mostly from strained back muscles (muscle overuse). There are 200 muscles in the back that allow us to stand upright.
- Triggers are carrying something too heavy or lifting from an awkward position. Bending too far backward or sideways can cause back pain. Digging in the garden for too long causes overuse of back muscles.
- Sciatica is pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. Sciatica gives a burning pain in the buttock without back pain. The pain shoots into the back of the leg. The most intense pain can be in the lower leg and foot. Leg weakness, numbness or tingling can also occur. Sciatica is rare in children but common in adults.
- Mild: Your child feels pain and tells you about it. But, the pain does not keep your child from any normal activities. School, play and sleep are not changed.
- Moderate: The pain keeps your child from doing some normal activities. It may wake him or her up from sleep.
- Severe: The pain is very bad. It keeps your child from doing all normal activities.
|CARE ADVICE FOR STRAINED BACK MUSCLES|
- What You Should Know:
- Most new lower back pain is caused by lifting heavy objects. Lifting while the back is twisted is also a cause. This causes strained back muscles from muscle overuse.
- Pain is not the only symptom. Walking a little bent over or stiff may occur for a few days.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Pain Medicine:
- To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
- Reason: Helps back pain and muscle spasms.
- Cold Pack:
- For pain or swelling, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth.
- Put it on the sore muscles for 20 minutes.
- Repeat 4 times on the first day, then as needed.
- Reason: Helps with the pain and muscle spasms.
- Caution: Avoid frostbite.
- Heat Pack:
- If pain lasts over 2 days, put heat on the sore muscle.
- Use a heat pack, heating pad or warm wet washcloth.
- Do this for 10 minutes, then as needed.
- Caution: Avoid burns.
- Sleep on the side with a pillow between the knees.
- If your child only sleeps on the back, put a pillow under the knees.
- Avoid sleeping on the stomach.
- The mattress should be firm. Do not sleep on a waterbed.
- Avoid any sports or work that increase the pain.
- Avoid lifting or jumping until well.
- After 48 hours, start gentle back stretching exercises.
- Complete bed rest is not needed.
- What to Expect:
- New back pain without a reason most often goes away in a few days.
- Back pain from muscle overuse (strained back muscles) goes away in 1 to 2 weeks.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Walks different than normal for more than 3 days
- Pain starts to shoot into the leg
- Pain lasts more than 2 weeks
- Pain gets worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
This free app has a symptom checker,
dosage tables for common medications,
home health advice and more.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 12/14/2012
Last Revised: 1/13/2013
Content Set: Child Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.