Springfield physio Adam Atherton is seeing kids as young as 10 suffering chronic pain.
Springfield physio Adam Atherton is seeing kids as young as 10 suffering chronic pain. dolgachov

The rise of 'iPad-itis' and chronic pain in 10-year-olds

A SPRINGFIELD physiotherapist has revealed how an increase in the use of ipads and tablets could be leading to chronic pain in kids as young as 10.

Orion Family Physiotherapy director Adam Atherton said he had treated a significant number of patients in Springfield who suffered from chronic pain and had seen an increase in the number of young people suffering, largely due to bad posture and limited movement.

"The age of people suffering from muscular skeletal pain and back pain is getting younger and younger and I have some clients as young as 10 years-old with what I call iPad-itis," Mr Atherton said.

"The first onset of chronic pain usually starts in the early 20s where someone hurts a disc at work stacking shelves or something like that and then go on to have children, are sitting too much at work and develop weak back muscles.

"A lot of those people haven't had their pain treated properly and go on to develop chronic pain and that's the group I want to capture to prevent further burden on the health system and to put an end to their pain and suffering."

In addition to his physiotherapy clinic, Mr Atherton is a member of the NeuroOrthopaedic Institute (N.O.I) and runs a headache and migraine clinic where he said he had seen a surge of people affected by the condition over the last 10 years.

Orion Family Physio director Adam Atherton.
Orion Family Physio director Adam Atherton.

Mr Atherton said research showed one in five people lived with chronic pain on a daily basis and that headaches and migraines were among the most common complaints of pain suffers, usually attributed to lower back or neck pain.

The Springfield physio said research also showed the best way to treat chronic pain was as simple as having an active lifestyle, eating well and getting enough sleep.

"Research says the best thing to treat chronic pain is actually active rehab which is a big one for helping nerve, spinal, neck and back pain as well as postural pain and repetitive pain which are often drivers of headaches and migraines," he said.

"Besides occupational work stresses, other chronic conditions can also be put down to medication overuse, as well as poor gut health attributed to poor diet.

"Diet can have a big impact on your happy hormones which are produced in your gut and are the very things you need to treat pain and fatigue.

"Someone with chronic pain won't usually feel like exercising either but simple yet consistent exercise is really important.

"Finally good, quality sleep and not looking at too many screens at night is really important in helping treat chronic pain symptoms."

Chronic Pain Australia's National Pain Week runs from July 24-July 31 and is dedicated to reducing social and other barriers for people living with chronic pain.



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