Tips for Teens With Neck, Shoulder or Back Pain
By Amy Silva
Teenagers aren't immune to problems with posture or neck or shoulder pain just because they're young. They do many things throughout the day that might turn into a literal pain in the neck or surrounding areas. The good news is there are things they can do to help treat discomfort, or even prevent it from happening in the first place.
Causes of Neck and Shoulder Discomfort for Teens
- Heavy backpacks - Teenagers often carry more weight than they should in their backpacks by not having time to go to their locker between classes or just packing it with items that aren't necessary to have during the school day
- Bad posture - Lounging on the sofa or sitting in odd positions in school desks is common among teens
- Screen time - Teens often have unnatural posture while using electronic devices, including when lying down, which bends their necks into an unnatural and uncomfortable position
How Teens Can Benefit From Seeing a Chiropractor
When a teen visits a chiropractor, they'll learn how their posture and habits can affect their entire body. Chiropractic care can also help put their spine in alignment, if that's one cause for their discomfort. A heavy backpack that's only being carried by one shoulder, for example, can put unnecessary pressure on joints or the spine. This can cause pain in different areas of the body by having an uneven stride while walking.
Prevention and Treatment Tips
- Lighten the load - If possible, have your teen keep the extra stuff at home during the school day because even small amounts of extra weight can add up. They should also carry their backpacks using both arm straps to evenly distribute the weight and prevent shoulder and neck discomfort.
- Sit up straight - School desks may not be designed for comfort but sitting up straight while at school can help prevent the unnatural positions that cause back, neck or shoulder pain.
- Electronic device use - Maintaining proper posture while using phones, tablets and computers is important to prevent a sore neck. Tell your teen to try relaxing their shoulders and hold their head straight with their gaze forward instead of down. If they have computer work to do, it's better to sit at a desk or table and not on a soft surface like a sofa or bed.
Teenagers can help prevent neck, back and shoulder pain by maintaining good posture throughout the day, not leaning their necks forward while on their phones, and carrying their backpacks with both straps. Chiropractic care can also help relieve pain, as well as teach them the importance of good posture.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pasadena, Tex.