toddler complains of back pain
by sarah2032, Jan 18, 2008
I have an almost 2 1/2 year old son who began complaining of back pain in mid-October.  We had just had another baby, so I didn't really think much of it at first.  Then in early November he wouldn't walk, after x-rays and blood work all came back normal our pediatrician diagnosed him with toxic synovitis.  He began walking and was back to normal in a couple days.  However, the occasional complaint of back paincontinued, most of the time when he was laying down.  We took him back in to the Dr. and had more x-rays done.  Then in the beginning of December he began to complain of back pain when he was in his car seat.  Again, i just took it as he wanted out, nothing too alarming.  It has gotten worse that now he will scream like he is in enormous pain whenever he's in the car seat.  I have since paid close attention to what it is that hurts.  He always grabs for the middle of his lower back with his right hand and says that's where it hurts.  We had a Britax Boulevard carseat since April and were praying that it was the carseat that we went and got a new one.  Same thing in the new one.  I then began watching him sit.  When he sits he will not sit with weight equally distributed on both hips, he'll immediately shift his weight to one side or the other, or need to sit sideways with a leg up, then he's fine.  Since a 5 point harness prevents him from doing so, he can't figure out how to fix whatever it is that hurts.  This week he also started it in the stroller.  He will not sit on my lap without shifting to one side or the other.  Even if I distract him with TV or a snack or anything he's all over the place.  If I try to make him sit straight he will immediately begin kicking his legs and squirming his back all over the place, and then scream.  Our pediatrician ordered more x-rays but I don't know what else to do or who else to see for a consult.
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Member Comments (186)
by LACM, Jan 27, 2008
I also have a 2 year old son who has been complaining of back pain and it bothers him more when he is lying down so at night he wakes up frequently and cries, he also would complain in his car seat trying to push up from sitting. I have noticed that he doesn't like to sit with his weight on both hips he moves around and won't sit for long. He also has had many x-rays which come back normal.  He does have some abnormal blood work results which show some inflammation, but they don't know where? I was sondering if you had made any progress on a diagnosis or treatment.  Right now my son takes NSAID (anti inflammtory) and sometimes codiene for pain. does your son have consitpation too???
by SnCMom, Feb 04, 2008
I also have a 34 month old dauther who's been complaining of back pain for over two months now.  At first I ignored it thingking she was just mimmicking what her dad says (he often has pain on his back).  But she kept bringing it up and I noticed that she fidgets in her high chair, the carseat and the bed before going to sleep.  She often just mumbles "my back hurts" in a soft voice and I know she's telling the truth.  The pediatrician recomended giving her Motrin, which I did every day, 2x per day, for a week.  Though it seemed to help relieve her pain, the pain didn't go away.  I have continued to sporadically give her either Motrin or Tylenol when I think her pain is really bad but it's still there.  We saw an pediatric orthopaedist who took x-rays and said that everything seemed well and that the only thing they saw was a curvature of about 12 degrees that didn't warrant any pain or treatment at the time.  We are to repeat the x-rays in six months to see if the curvature is still there, has improved or stayed the same.
Recently my daughter has started to complain about her diaper being too tight (though I know it is not because I can see how loose it is around her waist) and I'm wondering if it's related to the back pain.
I'm not sure what to do at this time.  I wish the pediatrician would recomend having an MRI or something so I may suggest it to the pediatrician.  Let us know if there has been anything new that has come up or if you've been able to find out the cause of the pain.
by Teck, Feb 04, 2008
Have you thought the pain may not be the back at all but maybe their kidneys?  The reason I say this is because I have a daughter that at the age of 18 months, was diagnosed with kidney problems that caused a lot of discomfort, especially when sitting or lying.  The pain is usually just under the rib cage in the mid part of the back.  

I am not trying to diagnose your child, but it is definitely worth checking into.  Hopefully your Doctor will take some suggestions like this one.  I truly hope you find some help for your child.  The one thing for sure, don't let your Dr. brush it off, there is something definitely wrong and needs attention.  This goes for all the other people that has responded to your entry.  Good luck to all of you.
by madisonsmommy, Apr 07, 2008
I was wondering if you ever found anything out?  My daughter has been complaining of the same things......  So far x-rays, urine screens, and blood work have all came back normal.  We had an MRI late last week but I'm still waiting on the results from the dr.  Just curious in the meantime.

by vignette7, May 14, 2008
Yes, I need to know if any of you came up with a diagnosis. My son at the age of 3 started complaing of back pain only in the car seat.  We had switched to a booster to see if that helps, it doesn't.  We have had x-rays only.  It has been 7 months since he started complaing .  It;s only in the car seat though, so I don't know how serious I should take it.
by maddieturk, May 14, 2008
Hello. I am not sure how much this can help... I was around 1-2 when I started complaining about back pain. I would have to crawl and scream in pain. I was sent everywhere to all kinds of cancer doctors and no one could find anything. Eventually the doctors diagnosed it as meningitis. Then, I guess the medicine helped because to this day I am a very athletic and healthy child. You might want to check this with your doctors.
by DrTanase, May 14, 2008
Sarah, I would suggest you look into finding a pediatric chiropractor... Someone who's specialized in pediatrics, not just any old chiropractor though... A good source for finding a referral is here:

Pediatric chiropractic adjusting is VERY gentle, involves no pain, and is completely safe. It could be all that's needed for your toddler's problem.

by evygrace, Jun 16, 2008

  My son will be 3 in August and has been complaining of back pain when he is in the car for 6 months. At first it was infrequent and I thought it was discomfort from car sickness, and now much more frequent and now he tells me that it is his back. We have tried changing the seat, adding a pillow, changing cars, and it is always the same thing.
I took him to a pediatric orthopedic, and he took an xray and said that everything was normal (although did not show me the xray) I was dissatisifed with his service and will be getting a second opinion.
After readining everyone's experiences, something must be going on, and I notice that all of our children are close in age.
by PortlandMom3, Jun 30, 2008
I am desperate also. My daughter is 32 mo. and wakes up in terrible screams at night. The Dr. thought it might be night terrors but she does say that her back hurts and it is usually were the kidneys are. The dr. did a tap test on her kidneys and she nearly doubled over yet all urinalysis came back with no growth. She also screams in the car seat arching her back and pulling at the harness, but honestly I never put two and two together until reading your comments. I thought it was just two year old stuff. I am very concerned. She has had this problem off and on since she turned 1. The suggestion about the pediatric chiro. is a good one. We are also checking her for milk allergies. She was nursed until 11mo. and that is about the time it started (when she was switched to milk). My oldest daughter is casein intolerant. Milk allergies are directly associated with night wakings; so that is our next step. Thought that might help. I will let you all know the results. We go to a holistic pediatrician and she has written medical papers on food allergies and intolerances relation to behavior and sleep patterns. Hopefully this will do the trick.