Is your teenager busy doing coursework and revising for exams?
Do they say they have back, neck or shoulder pain?
Are they struggling with studying for long periods due to discomfort?
Extra study as exams approach can often lead to stiffness and discomfort for students. This is due to increased time at desks. For some it may create additional worry and anxiety of how they will get through the long written exam or complete their coursework.
There are many different causes for pain and discomfort, such as:
- Posture when studying.
- Working area is not ideally set up for study.
- Stress of the revision and exam process.
- Postural changes as they grow.
Many teenagers may not want to let parents know they are suffering from discomfort or want to avoid a lecture about posture. Our teenage patients tell us that pain or discomfort is distracting, making it harder to focus and concentrate both at home and in school or college. In some cases, the pain directly impacts their mood, desire, tolerance and ability to study or complete their coursework effectively.
Teenagers’ pain is often (inaccurately) attributed to:
- One or both parents have history of back pain, neck pain or headaches so there is a higher chance of their children having issues.
- It’s normal growing pains or hormonal changes.
- It’s just their bad posture, all teenagers are like this!
Frequent daily pain for teenagers is not considered normal and should be explored.
The friendly team at Shefford Osteopathic Clinic starts by talking with the patient. We discuss what’s going on and how it impacts them. Only then do we carry out a thorough examination. We ask patients to dress down so we can see their bodies moving. At this point we also use our hands to feel how they move and how their tissues feel.
Treatment is always discussed with the patient. It usually involves a bespoke combination of:
- Hands on treatment (incorporating the whole body).
- Practical tips to try when studying and sitting the exams, such as how to avoid back pain.
- Stretches and/or exercises for relaxation, stretching and stability.
- If appropriate, referral to the patient’s GP for further investigations.
Our patients usually see a drop in pain and discomfort after a few sessions. This enables them to complete their revision and exams.
We aim to educate people about body posture and body movement offering the confidence to self-manage and take control.
The key result is enabling teenagers to study, do their exams and do their best without being distracted by discomfort or pain.
This article was written by Melissa Thorpe, a Registered Osteopath in the Shefford Osteopathic Clinic team.