Radiologists recommend correct posture and backpack safety following study revealing kids suffer from disc degeneration
A new British study has found that almost one child in 10 show signs of back problems before puberty. These findings were presented by Dr. Francis Smith at the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held December 3, 2003 in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Smith is a consultant radiologist and sports medicine physician at Woodland Hospital, Aberdeen, Scotland.
For this study, Smith and his colleagues looked at MRI scans of 154 10-years-olds. None of the children had ever had any problems with their back or reported any back pain. Yet, 14 had signs of intervertebral disc degeneration on their MRI scans.
Dr. Williams Sanders, a neuroradiologist with William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., said that without a significant history of trauma, or repeated history of trauma, one wouldn’t expect to see disc degeneration in that high a percentage of children. He did point out that disc degeneration isn’t always easy to determine from MRI scans and, though there may be another explanation, he felt that it was likely disc degeneration.
What is interesting is that both Smith and Sanders recommend preventative measures for a healthy back, including correct posture and avoidance of heavy backpacks. Doctors of chiropractic have been teaching about the importance of good posture for nearly a century and backpack safety for many years. (To get materials on Perfect Posture and backpack safety see Publications and Products.)