Pain Concern
22,253 members7,563 posts

Severe Back Pain but I'm only 14?!

I'm 14 and have been suffering for near enough 3 years with severe back pain and I have no idea what it is. I am really into sports but my back really restricts me especially as a keen Equestrian. I often find I can't move with the pain and all I want to do is sit there and cry with the pain.

My parents won't take me to the doctors as they say I will only be given painkillers, which don't generally do anything for me anyway.

16 Replies

Maybe you should approach one of your teachers. Your PE or Games teacher may be able to advise you. They may also be able to advise your parents. Nobody of your age should be living with undiagnosed and untreated pain. As for pain killers, they don't exist. No pills will kill your pain. However there are a wide range of pills, and creams that help greatly with pain relief.

In one sense your parents may be wrong too. Most doctors do not like to prescribe pain medication to minors or even young adults. The first step is diagnosis and often this is followed by free physiotherapy on the NHS. Usually only after this has failed will most GPs look at prescription pain relief. Best wishes, Rib

1 like

Hello DreamingofOlympia,

I have back pain too and it's extremely painful and distressing. Mine started about 6 years ago and has just got slowly but progressively worse.

You didn't mention what the actually symptoms were - is it a stabbing sort of pain in one area or a burning pain that spreads? Do you feel like it starts in your back and seems to go down the back of your legs? Is there any weakness in any part of your back or legs that prevents you from doing certain things? How has it affected your sports in terms of running, jumping, etc.? What about pins and needles?

I know I'm asking alot of questions but it's just to help you focus on the problem itself. What would be very useful is for you to actually write down EXACTLY how it feels and if there's anything you do or know that makes it feel better. For example, if it feels better when you lie down in a warm bath or when you go to sleep at night?

Once you have it all down, show it to your parents again. If they're still not willing to take you to the doctor, make an appointment and go yourself. At 14, you can actually be seen by the doctor (with the practice nurse present) and examined. Unfortunately, you will not be given any treatment without parental consent - especially medication, but at least you will be given or referred for some sort of Assessment.

If you feel uncomfortable going on your own, as suggested by Rib, it may be helpful to go with a friend or a teacher, mentor etc.

Don't just ignore it. It may be something serious (I have a congenital problem with my spine - which means I was born with it.) and if you don't address it now, it could get so bad that it may be difficult to fully repair it later.

Wishing you all the very best. Do let us know how you get on and once you've given your parents another chance to address the problem when they see all your points and concerns on paper, then take matters into your own hands and deal with it proactively.

We're all rooting for you.


This pain isn't in one area of my back is pretty much all over. As for what the pain feels like it to varies (which I find quite strange). It can be anything like a sharp shooting pain, to an ache or what feels like a muscle spasm (I think that's what you would call it). I don't really have a 'comfy' position for it, it just tends to be sore however my posture is.

It starts to get sore in most sports after maybe 5 minutes or so of running I have to take a break, as it becomes sore. I can't use any fitness equipment in the gym as that too is to painful, although cycle at a reasonable constant pace seems to be okay.

When I'm horse riding it has its days, since starting riding again after winter it hasn't been too bad while mounted although I haven't been able to actually mount some days with pain. Since I am getting into Showjumping and cross country this season I would really like to be able to do it without any pain. I also can't wear a body protector while riding, i feel to constricted and it causes pain.

Hope this is the information you were looking for.


Well done. It's just the sort of stuff I was looking for.

I think everyone has said exactly what you should do. If there's any chance of printing out what you've just written above, do so and take it along to your GP as soon as possible.

For what it's worth, it sounds like an issue with your Lumbar Spine region - there could be something pressing on or irritating your nerves in that area. Of course, not being a doctor, I could be completely wrong but it might be worth googling just to get an idea of what you may be dealing with and if it sounds familiar to you.

Don't leave it any longer. Your parents sound like they really care about you and have you engaging in a wide range of wonderful activities. Don't worry about how it might come across, do your research and as I said, approach them with your findings and be as assertive as you can because I can sense that you'd rather go to the doctors with your parents than with anyone else.

When I get scared, I remember a book I once read called Feel the FEAR and do it Anyway. The questions you need to ask yourself are; What exactly are you afraid of? Is your fear worse than your pain? What's the worse that could happen? If you don't take any action, what could happen? I'm sure you could think of many more because you sound like a very intelligent well rounded person so I shall leave these with you to think about.

Do let us know how you get on. As I said, it's always lovely to hear from young people and no matter how we say it, we're all really rooting for you.

1 like

Hi Dan9878,

Knowing what the legal position is and the rights of a child is not always the full story.

I am assuming that you've worked with children or have knowledge of the law which is admirable. What I'm not so sure about is your approach to something that's obviously a rather delicate issue for 'this particular young person'.

If it was just as simple as you state above in this particular instance, the young person may not have felt it necessary at all to write on this forum. Again, if you've ever worked with children and young people you'd recognise that it's much better to take a more gentle approach to issues as there is sometimes more to a story that what is initially relayed.

I'm not concerned about whether in your opinion it receives a thumbs up or down. Everyone on this forum is free to give an opinion on an issue so long as they are not breaking any specific rules or laws so quite frankly you may thumbs down all you want.

If DreamingofOlympia is assisted and reassured in anyway by my response, it will be great. If not, at least I tried. If of course she prefers what I consider to be your brusque and somewhat high-handed response, so be it. The important thing is that she gets the help and support she so obviously needs.

I also recognise that pain can sometimes make us much more miserable than we need to be so I shall definitely not hold your thumbs down against you.

Have a good day.


This is NOT Child neglect! I can understand why my parents won't take me to the doctor!



Please, get someone to take you to the doctors. I have suffered since I was 21, my daughters since they were younger than you. There are plenty of good therapies, treatments and yes, painkillers, specifically for back pain. You need x-rays and an MRI scan to determine what is wrong, plus blood tests to rule out some things or diagnose!

There are things like ankylosing spondylitis and scoliosis which cause horrendous pain, but can easily be solved or helped.


Why don't you take yourself to the doctors?

I remember when I was a kid and I always dreaded my mum coming in with me but was then told at 14 I could go on my own !

Would that be possible


Ask to see a rheumatologist. Chronic back pain in someone your age that isn't injury related could well be some form of juvenile arthritis.


Back pain can be miserable, there may be some simple ways to help but you won't know till you have been assessed.

Since you are obviously a sportswoman, perhaps your parents might be more comfortable seeing a sports Physio?

Just like my stepdaughter, I'll give an ear bending too.... Those spine protectors are worth their weight in gold. There are lots of different styles on the market so there is one out there for you.

Especially as you are wanting to jump and go cross country. A horse can spook or refuse at a hedge and you would have no idea what you may land on, or where the next horse behind might land. It should be mandatory to wear one, you would never think of riding without a properly fitted hat would you?

I have tried many different approaches to pain relief. Chiropractics, yoga, Alexander technique, hydrotherapy to name a few. Most important is keeping as mobile as possible as much as possible.

You might not like what I say, but would you leave your horse in pain for so long and not get help?

No I didn't think so. Get yourself checked out and put your mind at rest, fear of what's wrong can make you feel more pain, more pain makes you worry more etc etc.


I hope you have had some relief from your pain ? I have terrible back pain which started when I was 13rys old and was growing fast. It took almost all my adult life for some one to send me for an MRI to discover that very little disc had formed in my L5-S1 which is the lowest vertebrae before your buttock area, which was bone on bone, how I wish it could have been discovered sooner and saved me years of thinking I was going nuts and being a hypochondriac.Medical science has come along way cases like yours should not be dismissed so lightly. As for your parents, mine were just the same and my Mum was a nurse, not neglectful, to me it was just common sense and she was right, when I did go (on my own,with her knowledge) the Dr prescribed paracetamol and told me I would grow out of it !


You need to see a doctor to eliminate any thing serious. You say you are a keen Equestrian which does suggest you may be the cause of your back pain. Many people when they have to have straight backs over tighten muscles instead of relaxing into a back with curves.

Suggest going to see an Alexander Teacher who can help you become more aware of how you are causing your back pain.

Over tight leg muscles can cause back pain which can come from gripping the sides of the horse or not sitting in a saddle as effectively as you could be..

There are Alexander teachers who practise horse riding. One of my old Alexander Teachers just to get me to sit in a saddle during his teaching.

Hope this helps.


Your parents are doing wrong with your health as you should consult with you physician as soon as possible otherwise it may create problem.

1 like

Anyone with that much back pain needs to have a MRI of the spine and perhaps

x ray or bone scans to find out if the problem is mechanical ( like mine is ) or if there

are some bulges or misalignment of the spine.

IT's possible that you may have many reasons that your back hurts that much.

It is your parents responsibility to have this checked out because small problems

can become big ones as an adult. My parents didn't take me anywhere except

the chiropractor after the back surgeon said that I needed a surgery. My

parents had fears that I would be worse off after the surgery. They tried to

protect me. As an adult, I have a lot of big, big problems with my back. I have

crippling pain at times. Now they Cant fix the problem for me. My spine grew

to accommodate the issues. Chiropractors didn't ever help me much.

Physical therapy helps greatly these days and so does medicine. Some people

have to have pain killers and muscle relaxers. I am one of those people. It's

the only way that I can get things done during the day and sleep at night.

Does anything help your pain? Like laying down or sitting down? Do you

take some over the counter pain relief?

Just remember that your parents are trying to do what's best for you. You

can still visit the doctor and get tests done without taking pain killers. You can

also go to physical therapy to help your back. They are all about strengthening

the muscles so that your back doesn't have so much stress on certain areas.

If your parents still do not do anything to help you then talk to your teacher

about this pain or talk to the school nurse about how often the pain comes

and tell her what you are going through just like you told us. Good luck



If your tall you may have a growth plate prombles you should see a doctor or a phyiso and get a xray because I had back pain when I was 12 and I was a stress fracture in my back.


Hi there, hope you are better, however if you are not the following may help. I had very back growing up - still do but over time I have worked out how to be pain free without painkillers. Basically, you need to have a really strong core, all the time. Posture needs to be good, core muscles need to be strong and even more important - is to remember to hyper flex. Meaning lay on your stomach and push your upper torso up while keeping your legs and hips on the floor. Hold for 5 or 10 seconds, release, breathe, and do it again. 5 - 10 reps. I'm now in my middle 40's, don't use pain killers. I have constant issues but I remember to manage it and life is good :) Hope that helps!


You may also like...