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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June 2008, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Growing old before your time?
Person holding their back
More teenagers are complaining about back problems

Do you often moan to your friends about your aching back and bad knees?

You're not alone - new research claims teenagers are 10 times more likely to suffer from backpain than their parents and grandparents.

The survey of more than 1,000 people showed problems usually seen in much older patients are increasingly being seen in the younger generations.

Walking in high heels and slouching are just some of the factors being blamed for the rise.

Aching bodies

Teenagers are fifty times more likely to get hip pain than their parents, while painful knees are causing problems for more than 60% of young people. Only 3% of 55-year-olds experienced knee problems when they were younger.

Playing computer games cross-legged all put pressure on the knees
Matthew Bennett, BCA

Oliver Parrish started getting backpain when he was 13-years-old. He's now 23 and claims it's a problem that just won't go away.

He said: "When I get back attacks, my body locks up and I get pins and needles all down my leg. I lose feeling too."

"It's partially hereditary but there's lots of things I did when I was younger that I think have made it worse. I used to go jogging on the streets and that used to make the pain worse.

"When I was at school my bag was bigger than me because there was so much heavy stuff in it. I'm sure that didn't help me either."

The report was commissioned by physiological shoe makers MBT.

Joshua Wies, a chartered physiotherapist and director of the MBT Academy, said: "Are we going to start seeing teenagers in treatment for hip problems, a problem that just a decade ago was reserved solely for the over 60s?"

Causes

Feet in  high heels and boots
Wearing high heels and pounding the pavements can be dangerous

Bad posture, high heels, walking mainly on concrete pavements, carrying heavy bags and sitting for long periods of time are among the main causes of teenage back pain.

Matthew Bennett from British Chiropractic Association said not doing enough excercise contributes to the problem.

"Squatting or crouching in front of the TV, playing computer games cross-legged all put pressure on the knees", he said.

Around 32% of teenagers admit to regularly taking painkillers to try and ease their aches and pains.

They don't bother seeing their doctors because they're worried they'll be labelled 'time-wasters'.

Mr Bennett advised wearing good shoes, sitting comfortably and making sure your spine is supported, moving around as much as possible and not carrying excess weight.



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