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We recommend children see a pediatric orthopedic specialist for back injuries (dorsalgia), because they are not small adults.

Our sports medicine teams focus on back injuries and spine conditions that affect young athletes. The team includes sports medicine physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers who work with young athletes with a focus on recovery and safe return to play.

Many children will experience back pain at some point while being active or playing sports. Most back pain is not serious and goes away over time and with little treatment. Back injuries are typically caused by either overuse or trauma.

Dorsalgia is a common back injury term for discomfort or pain in any part of the spine or back that can range from mild to severe and can have various causes.

The lower back is the most common area of back injury. Lower back pain usually occurs from bone, muscle or disc problems. The most common cause of lower back pain in young athletes is a stress fracture, known as spondylolysis. The second most common cause of pain is muscle strain of the lower back.

To determine the best course of treatment for each child, appointments begin with a thorough history and physical exam. It is important for our medical providers to learn how an injury occurred prior to making an assessment and determining a treatment plan. During the first visit, your doctor will look at the injury and test range of motion to see how well the arms or legs can move.

Radiology and rehabilitation are essential to pediatric back injury care. At Shriners Children’s we are fortunate to offer both in-house, allowing convenient back-to-back appointments for our patients. X-rays or other images may be needed to help the doctor decide how to best treat the injury. On-site physical therapists collaborate with patients and families to tailor patient-specific rehabilitation goals.


Treatment for back injuries at Shriners Children's often includes avoiding activities that are painful for the back, which tends to help the healing process. Physical therapy is commonly required to help children stretch and strengthen their back and abdominal muscles. Medications and surgery are also treatment options for back pain.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

I just feel like everyone at Shriners truly cares and wants to see kids better.
Sarah, St. Paul
children playing football

Sports Medicine for Children

Whether playing on the sports field, exercising, or on the playground, children sometimes get hurt. At Shriners Children’s, we specialize in pediatric bones, joints and muscles. Our ultimate goal is to get children back to what they love quickly and safely.

Services We Provide

View All Related Services

Armeo Therapy

Armeo Therapy at Shriners Children’s provides patients with lost or restricted motor function in their upper extremities an opportunity to use a unique rehabilitation tool that embraces the whole arm, from shoulder to hand, during therapy.

Care Management

The care management team at Shriners Children's consists of registered nurses and social workers who act as resources for families throughout their plan of care.

Child Life Services

Child life professionals at Shriners Children’s take pride in focusing on the "above and beyond" aspects of medical care for our patients. From procedure support to camps, they are ready to advocate for your family.

Motion Analysis

The specialists in Shriners Children’s motion analysis centers collect and analyze movement-related data, like gait analysis, to help treat children with neuromuscular, acquired or congenital disorders.

Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS)

Shriners Children’s Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) designs, fits and manufactures orthotics and prosthetics for children from infants to young adults.

Radiology and Imaging

Shriners Children's radiology and imaging services are a noninvasive way for physicians to see what's going on inside a child's body. Our radiology and imaging professionals work to do this in the safest way possible.

Social Services

At Shriners Children’s, our specialists in social services are with you every step of the way, helping you deal with challenges and providing the resources you need to feel encouraged and empowered.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.