Headaches in children and young adolescents is sadly something that we now see frequently at Physiologix. Many things can cause headaches but this includes being neck related. We commonly see issues that result after contact injuries, usually in sport where two kids have collided, or from falls. A concussion or head injury always has to also be ruled out in these situations.
However many neck related headaches seem to come on from no reason. It may well be that poor posture may exacerbate issues. Kids are doing less and less sport - their spinal support muscles are therefore not being given the opportunity to strengthen as they may have in the past. Screen time is on the increase with kids adopting all sorts of weird and wonderful positions to chat with friends and play games. And many kids generally have a poor desk set up when doing their homework.
As a parent trying to help your child what are some key things you can do? Here are a few suggestions of things that we would go through as physios. if we were treating your kids.
If your child is not very active, get them active. What do they like? This could be as simple as a trampoline in the back yard, going to the park for a short time each evening after school/work, dance offs at home, kids yoga online – there are loads of options that can be easily fitted into the family routine and at no cost.
Get them playing games and doing homework where they can adopt better posture, encouraging them to sit straighter using their spinal and abdominal muscles. Limit how long they sit, getting them up frequently. Limit screen time.
Although school bags haven’t been linked to pain, if your child neck pain and headache are the same side as the side they carry their bag, you may want to try to get them to use a backpack, carrying the weight evenly to see if this might make a difference.
Lastly just like adults kids can carry tension due to anxiety in their shoulders. Make sure emotional issues are considered, and where they are relevant, that they are addressed.
Our physios will go through an extensive assessment of your child, with many questions – it would be great if you are present to help answer some of these often tricky things…..But also let your child speak for themselves – this helps them take ownership of their problem.
Give us a call at Physiologix any time on (07) 3511 1112. Or contact us from our website physiologix.com.au