Children's Hospital Colorado
Spine Program

Back Pain in Children

Kids aren’t just mini adults. In fact, they’re incredibly different. That’s why they need incredibly different care.

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Where does back pain usually occur in children?

Children and teens can experience back pain anywhere in their back, from their neck to their tailbone.

Your child may experience back pain in one spot, or in many parts of their back. Children usually experience back pain in their lower back.

How common is back pain?

Back pain is common in children and adolescents and can be frustrating for kids and families.

  • About 50% of kids and teenagers experience back pain at some point.
  • Up to 10% of these kids and teenagers have pain severe enough to keep them out of school or sports.

The good news is that almost all back pain in children and teens can be treated without medications or surgery.

What are causes of pediatric back pain?

There are many causes of back pain in children and teens, including:

  • Muscle weakness and stiffness (the most common causes of back pain in growing children and teens)
  • Tight hamstrings and weak core muscles
  • Unhealthy weight or obesity
  • Pain from overuse, such as repetitive exercise or activities that put strain on the back
  • Pain from sports, dance or other physical activities

How to prevent and reduce back pain

Next steps

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Shelley Dell'Orfano, DNP

Shelley Dell'Orfano, DNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Mark Erickson, MD

Mark Erickson, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery

Wendy Pierce, MD

Wendy Pierce, MD

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pediatric, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Molly Buerk, PA-C

Molly Buerk, PA-C

Physician Assistant

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