Teenagers

Laptop and mobile phone use, poor posture and sporting-related injury can all take their toll on today’s teenagers. We frequently experience parents bringing their teenage children in for headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder problems, digestive and menstrual pain in addition to lower back pain.

Increased stress frequently associated with social, exam and course work pressure can be a major factor. Likewise, too much sport without appropriate warmup and stretching advice can put strains on rapidly growing tissues leading to conditions such as Osgood Schlatters (pain at the front of the knee in younger teenagers) [1].

Poor sleep patterns have been identified as a cause for concern for many teenagers [2]. Reduced sleep limits time for the body to grow and repair, reducing available energy and decreasing attention span, not to mention increasing irritability! [3]. All of these lead to reduced health and with today’s school life being so achievement-led this could have long term impact whatever your child aspires to do in the future.

Your child may spend many hours hunched over a laptop or smartphone, causing neck and shoulder tension and associated headaches. Nowadays whether engaged in studies or social media rarely do we sit in a balanced way, and poor posture is commonly linked to muscle imbalance and pain. Many of the patients who visit us have adopted odd sitting positions and this is often illustrated by the spinal twists and pelvic rotations we see upon examination.

In addition, a hunched posture makes it difficult to take a deep breath – try it for yourself. Reduced breathing mechanics limit the movement of the diaphragm, your primary respiratory muscle. This is particularly important for the child with asthma. Ideally the rise and fall of your diaphragm massages your stomach and the organs that lie above and beneath it. In doing so it improves the health of these organs and their ability to function properly. As your digestion improves so does the overall health of your body; think of it as increasing the efficiency of your car engine. By teaching your child better ergonomics we can also improve their overall health.

We believe that if we can teach you and your children good habits early on, then you need not be the repeat patients of the future!

References

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osgood%E2%80%93Schlatter_disease

2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23811690

3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/articles/emotions/teenagers/sleep.shtml

girl working on phone playing hand held game