Low back pain often begins in childhood - 10% of 9- to 10-year-olds
suffer from it. One cause of childhood low back pain is poor
posture. Although good posture can reduce the number of low
back problems, the effectiveness of health education at improving
posture in children has received little research attention.
A recent study in the journal Spine focused on the
success of different education methods when teaching correct
posture to schoolchildren. Over one hundred third-grade students
in Spain were studied. Some attended sessions to learn and
demonstrate correct postures while performing tasks, focusing
on lifting and bending activities at the students’ homes,
classrooms, and physical education classes. Other children
did not receive specific posture classes, but did learn some
basic health information. Written and demonstrated tests on
correct posture were administered several times over one year.
Four years later, cases of back pain or problems were recorded.
The children taught correct postures demonstrated significantly
improved postures in all tests; the other children showed
little improvement. In addition, four years later, the posture-class
members were less likely to have developed back problems than
If you have children, discuss posture education with your
doctor of chiropractic. In addition, be on the lookout for
other causes of childhood low back pain, including an excessively
heavy backpack (packs should not weigh more than 15% of a
child’s body weight) and poor flexibility in the legs, abdomen
Méndez FJ, Gómez-Conesa A. Postural hygiene program to prevent
low back pain. Spine, June 1, 2001:26(11), pp. 1280-1286.
For more information on childhood conditions, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/childhood.html.