Pediatric spine pain can happen in the upper, middle, or lower back and is often due to deformities that happen early in fetal development. Sometimes, a doctor can detect these deformities or spine curvature immediately after birth. However, sometimes these issues may not be noticeable until a child is in adolescence. These deformities can range from mild to severe, and pain can be caused by a number of things, such as misshapen or partially developed vertebrae or vertebrae that are fused together or missing.
Pediatric spine pain can also happen through trauma—such as a fall while playing or an injury due to a car accident. Pediatric spine doctors are experts at understanding how the spine develops as well as how to treat these conditions, using minimally invasive techniques as well as spine surgery when required.
When to Visit a Pediatric Spine Specialist Near You
You should contact a pediatric spine specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Complaint of pain shooting down the legs
- Difficulty walking
- Pelvis is tilted
- Severe upper, middle, or lower back pain
- Shoulders, waistline, hips, or legs appear uneven
- Spine looks abnormally curved or twisted
If any of these symptoms are familiar to you or your adolescent, you should make an appointment to see a pediatric spine specialist or surgeon. At Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, our spine experts offer treatments for problems that range from nonsurgical to surgical procedures.
Common orthopaedic conditions and injuries our pediatric orthopaedic surgeons can diagnose and treat in patients include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Lumbar injuries or conditions
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis
- Spina bifida
- Spinal cord injury
- Spinal deformity or muscular atrophy
- Spine injury
- Spinal tumors
- Spondylolisthesis (or Spondylolysis)
If your injury or condition is too painful and needs to be treated promptly, visit our walk-in Rapid Orthopaedic Care clinic for acute injuries every day of the week, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
Why choose the Spine Center at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates?
Choosing the right doctor is important, and there are many different factors you should consider, including their level of professional training and expertise.
At Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, our pediatric orthopaedists have had additional training in a specific area of the body or medical specialty. This additional training is referred to as fellowship training. Following their medical residencies, our providers have undergone fellowship training focusing their education specifically on the advanced knowledge and skills needed to treat specific areas of the body or injuries, conditions, or surgery relating to a specific medical specialty, such as congenital, developmental, and traumatic injuries or conditions. At Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, you are in excellent hands because our experts are fellowship-trained and have the advanced knowledge and skills to treat your injury or condition individually to meet your needs. With this advanced training, Dr. Clyde T. Carpenter and Dr. Andrew Manista have the experience and expertise to assess, diagnose, and treat your child's spinal injury or condition. They understand that special consideration is required when it comes to pediatric spine surgery and strive for the best outcomes, so your child can develop correctly and safely return to his or her active lifestyle.
To consult with our Olympia Orthopaedic Associates specialists about your spine care options, please request an appointment online or call (360) 709-6230. At our Spine Center, we offer consultations with a Spine Center doctor Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
You can learn more about the conditions we treat through our patient education resources or our Online Guide to Sports Medicine that references specific topics relating to nutrition and fitness for athletes of all ages, including high school students, collegians, weekend warriors, and professional athletes.
Pediatric Spine Wellness Tips
Staying active, being proactive, and building healthy habits are key to preventing, reducing, or avoiding future joint pain. Here are some techniques you can use to help protect your child’s spine:
- Establish Good Habits Early in Life: Decades ago, parents regularly told their children to “stand up straight”—and that’s still good advice today. Encouraging your child to not only maintain good posture while standing, but also while sitting, is one of the best things you can do to support your child’s future spine health.
- Don’t Overload the Backpack: Many children have heavy textbooks and other school materials they must carry in a backpack throughout the day. However, this can lead to back pain or ongoing spine issues. Teach your child to always use both straps when carrying a backpack so the weight is evenly distributed, and encourage your child to drop books off in a locker whenever possible, to reduce the amount of weight that must be carried.
- Help Your Child Maintain a Healthy Weight: Carrying too much weight puts significant stress on the joints, including the spinal joints. Help your child get the best start in life and maintain a healthy weight by offering nutritious meals and snacks, and keep unhealthy foods, such as soda, cookies, and chips, out of your home.