Children's Hospital Colorado

Back Pain in Children

What is back pain in children?

Back pain is very common in children and adolescents and can be frustrating for kids and their families. 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 most commonly experience back pain in their lower back. It is also common for children with back pain to feel some associated "spread" or "tingling" in their back or buttocks.

How common is back pain?

Back pain is very common in kids and teenagers.

  • Approximately 50% of kids and teenagers experience back pain at some point.
  • Up to 10% of kids and teenagers who have back pain may have pain that is severe enough to keep them out of school or sports.

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

What causes back pain in children?

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

  • Muscle weakness and stiffness (the most common causes of back pain in growing children and adolescents)
  • Tight hamstrings and weak core muscles
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Pain from overuse
  • Pain from sports, dance or other activities

How to prevent and reduce back pain

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Michael Kirkwood, PhD, ABPP-CN

Michael Kirkwood, PhD, ABPP-CN

Neuropsychology, Neuropsychology - Pediatric

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Sayan De, MD

Sayan De, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery

Aaron Provance, MD

Aaron Provance, MD

Pediatrics, Sports Medicine

Ryan Pahlau, PA-C

Ryan Pahlau, PA-C

Physician Assistant