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Pain Among Children and Adolescents

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Pain Among Children and Adolescents

The Chiro.Org Blog

SOURCE:   Pediatrics 2005 (Feb); 115 (2): e152-62

Musculoskeletal problems (NMS) in children are associated with both physical and psychologic consequences, and they can become barriers for participation in physical activity and sports, resulting in negative consequences for the individual’s health throughout life.

A recent study in Germany involved interviewing children (and their parents) to determine what percentage of them had NMS copmplaints. [1] The results of the study was quite surprising:

  • Of the 749 children and adolescents, 622 (83%) had experienced pain during the preceding 3 months
  • 30.8% of the children and adolescents stated that the pain had been present for >6 months

The reported complaints were:

  • 60.5% had recurrent headaches
  • 33.6% complained of limb pain
  • 30.2% complained of back pain

This is a serious problem. Insufficient levels of physical activity may lead to muscle weakness and bone fragility, [2] decreased oxygen throughput, decreased arterial size, increased clottability and altered blood lipid levels, metabolic inefficiency, decreased glut transporters, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and immunologic decay. [3]

This is a powerful reason for chiropractors to educate their communities about the benefits of chiropractic care. The most recent edition of JMPT reports an incidence level for headaches and neck pain of 40% in the children they examined [4], and they found that cervical joint dysfunction was a significant finding among those preadolescents complaining of neck pain and/or headache, as compared to those who did not have it.

The worst finding of this study was that there was a significant difference between the reporting of neck pain between the parents and childs reporting. It seems that of the children who reported pain, only a small fraction of their parents seemed to be aware of it.

You may want to review our Pediatrics Section for more information of value.

I hope you will find these articles of interest.


1. Pain among children and adolescents: restrictions in daily living and triggering factors
Pediatrics 2005 (Feb); 115 (2): e152-62

2. Peripheral bone mineral density and different intensities of physical activity in children 6-8 years old: the Copenhagen School Child Intervention study
Calcif Tissue Int 2007 (Jan); 80 (1): 31-8

3. A conceptual framework of frailty: a review
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2002 (May); 57 (5): M283-8

4. Recurrent Neck Pain and Headaches in Preadolescents Associated with Mechanical Dysfunction of the Cervical Spine: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study With 131 Students
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009 (Oct); 32 (8): 625-34

About the Author:

I was introduced to Chiro.Org in early 1996, where my friend Joe Garolis helped me learn HTML, the "mark-up language" for websites. We have been fortunate that journals like JMPT have given us permission to reproduce some early important articles in Full-Text format. Maintaining the Org website has been, and remains, my favorite hobby.


  1. Dr. Kevin Smith November 6, 2009 at 8:49 am

    This is a great article and serves to underscore why kids need chiropractic care too. It always amazes me at the incredulous look people give me when I tell them that their kids need to get their spines checked by a chiropractor. Apparently they didn’t get the memo that kid’s have spines too!

  2. Marco J. La Starza, D.C. November 7, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Good point Kevin! I wonder why more kids do not get Chiropractic?

  3. Chiropractic Care Maryland November 10, 2009 at 2:08 am

    You are right Dr. Kevin. We get some of those same looks at our parents when chiropractic care is recommended for their children. There are many misconceptions as it relates to the treatment with chiropractic care. Many people are still misinformed about treatment is available to them. (Ex. Headache, Migraines, Eye Sight, Hearing, etc.) Our virtual chart shows all of the available places spinal adjustment work to treat for each body part.

  4. Frank November 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Our next article in the Blog (Headaches in Infants) reinforces what you are all saying:

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