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.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Orthopedics 2021-2 Badge

Would you like to learn more about us?
Spine Program
Are you ready to schedule an appointment?
Schedule an appointment
Need an appointment or have a question?

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.

Cailin Delaney, PA-C

Cailin Delaney, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Joyce Oleszek, MD

Joyce Oleszek, MD

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pediatric, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Nicholas Alfonso, MD

Nicholas Alfonso, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery


Brian Shaw, MD

Brian Shaw, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery

Compassionate care, wherever you are

We’re here when you need us. Telehealth appointments are available across every specialty, so you can get the high-quality care we’ve always offered from the comfort, privacy and convenience of home.

See if telehealth is right for you