Back pain in childhood and adolescence

Instr Course Lect. 1999;48:525-42.


A variety of disorders can account for back pain in the child or adolescent (Outline 1). Some of these can result in significant morbidity if not properly diagnosed and treated. Fortunately, nearly all can be correctly diagnosed by taking a thorough medical history, performing a complete physical examination, and obtaining appropriate imaging and laboratory studies. Although back pain in children and adolescents may result from overuse or minor trauma and will respond to rest and anti-inflammatories, this review should enable the orthopaedist to systematically recognize those back disorders in need of more aggressive medical intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Back Pain / diagnosis*
  • Bone Diseases, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Bone Diseases, Infectious / microbiology
  • Bone Diseases, Infectious / therapy
  • Child
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Physical Examination
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Diseases / etiology
  • Spinal Diseases / therapy
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnosis
  • Spinal Fractures / therapy