Physiotherapists: Back pain, headaches plague Dutch youth


Bad posture (Photo: Skoivuma/Wikimedia Commons)

Young people in the Netherlands increasingly deal with back pain, neck and shoulder pain due to bad posture and too little exercise, numerous physiotherapists said to Dutch newspaper AD. They feel that parents, teachers and doctors pay too little attention to kids’ posture these days.

The generation born after 1995 more often visit physiotherapists and remedial therapists with problems expected in people in their 50’s. The exact figures are hard to determine, as GP’s no longer have to give a referral to such a therapist, but the therapists all see more adolescents with neck, back and shoulder pain.

An increasing use of computers, tablets and smartphones has kids and teenagers spending more time slumped in their chairs and too little time playing outside. This puts a lot of pressure on their intervertebral discs, according Andre Grotenhuis, neurosurgeon at Radboud UMC  the Netherlands.

The posture network in the Netherlands HNN wants to put a stop to this. The new foundation, comprised of doctors, physical therapists and parents, are calling for prevention rather than cure in this matter. “It starts with babies who were laid too little on their stomachs and put too much in chairs. A healthy posture must be taught early”, co-founder and orthopedic surgeon Piet van Loon said to the newspaper.

Bad posture is hardly corrected anymore. The doctors and therapists in HNN call for immediate intervention to prevent generations of people dealing with major physical problems. “Everyone used to know that you have to pay attention to the posture of children”, he said to the newspaper. “You were taught to have pride in your body. But that has disappeared from our system.”

Posted on Aug 2, 2016 by Janene Pieters

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