One Third Of British Children Suffer Back Pain

Several articles in British news publications in October 2008 reported that a survey conducted by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) showed that nearly one third of six to seven-year-olds complain of back pain. In the October 15, 2008 issue of the British publication the “Telegraph” and the October 17, 2008, Daily Express” the culprit for such a high rate of back problems in children is identified as lifestyle.

A combination of slumping in front of the TV, lazier lifestyles and heavy school bags are given the blame in these articles. The BCA reported that 45 per cent of children spent the majority of their time off playing computer games or watching TV, while 10% of eight and nine year olds said they didn’t do any sport at all. The BCA also noted that 72% of children said they carried around heavy books and sports equipment in their back packs, but only a third said they wore their back packs on both shoulders to distribute the weight evenly.

The articles report that according to the BCA, six years ago 29 percent off all 11 to 18-year-olds said they spent part of the day suffering back pain. Now they note that by age 11, as many as 45 percent of children have suffered some kind of back pain.

British Chiropractic Association spokesperson, Tim Hutchful, stated, “With children as young as six complaining from back pain, this survey clearly highlights the alarming rate at which back pain is growing within the UK.” He continued by adding a word of advice, “There are simple steps parents can take such as checking that children aren’t carrying around unnecessary items in their bags and encouraging them to use a rucksack worn correctly on both shoulders. But we are in no doubt that lack of exercise is children’s number one enemy.”