Backaches occur when the muscles in the back that allow us to stand up are strained. Usually the middle or lower part of the back is involved.  The pain often worsens with bending.  The muscles on either side of the spine may be tender or in spasm. Backaches occur from carrying something too heavy, lifting objects from an awkward position, or overexertion of the back muscles.  While the pain and discomfort are usually gone in 1 to 2 weeks, recurrences are common.




1.      Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) as directed by your doctor.  It is important to give this medicine around the clock until the pain lessens.

2.      Apply a heating pad or a hot water bottle to the most painful area for 20 minutes 3 times a day to help relieve the muscle spasm.  Do this whenever the pain flares up.

3.      Have your child avoid lifting, jumping, exercising, and sports until he or she is completely well.

4.      Remind your child to lift objects with the leg muscles and not by bending or twisting the back.


Call your child’s doctor or return to the Emergency Department if:


1.      The pain is not relieved by taking the pain medicine.

2.      Your child cannot walk.

3.      Your child starts acting very sick.

4.      Your child has numbness (loss of feeling) or tingling down the legs, or loses bowel or bladder control.

5.      Your child still has pain after 2 weeks of treatment.

6.      You have any other questions or concerns.