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子供に増えている頭痛や腰痛の原因と対処法

子供

子供に年々増えている頭痛や腰痛は、生活習慣の中に原因が潜んでいることが多々あります。子供が頭痛や腰痛で悩んでいると、遊びや勉強に集中できず、生き生きと生活できなくなってしまいます。

子供に増えている頭痛や腰痛の原因とその対処法を紹介します。自分のお子さんが頭痛や腰痛で辛そうにしているようなら、生活習慣を見直して、改善できる部分を見つけてみましょう。

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子供の頭痛や腰痛とは?

運動会

最近、頭痛や腰痛を発症する子供が非常に多くなっていると言われています。生活習慣の問題によって子供の頭痛や腰痛が起きているとされています。そのため、予防のためには普段の生活を見直すことがポイントになります。特に子供の時に身に付いた習慣は、大きくなってからでは直すのが難しくなります。親が子供の体も生活習慣も守ってあげましょう。

食べる時に噛む回数が少ない

噛む回数が少ない子供の多くが頭痛や腰痛に悩まされていると言われます。柔らかいものばかり食べている子供が多く、そのために噛む回数が少なくなり、顎が成長しません。特に、よく噛む子とあまり噛まない子では、下あごの骨の大きさが約3割違ってきます。歯の成長は噛む回数に関係ありませんが、あまり噛まない子ほど歯の生える隙間が狭くなって、歯並びが悪くなります。歯並びが悪いと、片方の顎だけで物を噛むようになります。よく噛む方の頬の筋肉ばかりが緊張して硬くなり、筋肉はバランス整えようとするために後頭部の筋肉に緊張が起き、その結果として頭痛が起きてしまいます。

噛む回数を増やすための手立てには、和食を少しでも多く出すようにしましょう。和食のメニューにはよく噛む必要があるものが多いからです。治療でも対策をすることができます。例えば、歯のかみ合わせを治すと同時に、顎関節の位置を整えるといいでしょう。子供の頭痛について専門医に相談するのも一つの方法です。

肩掛け鞄を多用している

身体の筋力が弱い子供が肩掛け鞄を多く使用すると、身体のバランスを取ろうとして鞄をかけた反対側の方に身体を無意識に傾けます。身体が傾くことによって、背骨の1つ1つが常に片側に圧迫される状態になります。また、身体が傾いた逆側の筋肉が伸びます。この姿勢をとり続けると、左右の骨端の成長に差が生じますので、だんだん背骨が曲がって成長してしまいます。その結果、S字側わん症となり、背中に痛みが現れます。最初は背中の痛みですが、だんだんと腰痛や疲れやすさなどの症状が出てきて、頭痛にもつながります。

背中のゆがみを防いで腰痛や頭痛を予防するには、できるだけリュックを使用するということです。リュックを使用することで、バランスよく強い筋肉を付けることができ、ゆがみにくい身体になります。また、適度な運動を心がけることも大切です。特に女子は筋力が弱い上に運動量も少なくなりやすいですから、気を付けましょう。

身体が硬い

身体の柔軟性は、しなやかで大きな動きをするために大切です。しかし、身体の柔軟性がないと、特定の関節や筋肉、靭帯、椎間板などに負担がかかって、痛みを生じるようになります。例えば、太腿の裏の筋肉が硬いと、腰関節の動きが必要以上に大きくなって、不安定になります。腰が不安定になると、上半身を支えることができなくなり、身体の防御反応によって腰の筋肉を硬くすることで安定させようとします。腰関節が不安定で、腰の筋肉が硬くなると、腰に痛みが生じます。

靴のサイズが足に合っていないと太腿の裏が硬くなることがあります。大きな靴でも小さな靴でもサイズが合っていないと、靴の中で指を曲げている状態になります。そうすると、常に膝が曲げているのと同じような状態になり、太腿の裏の筋肉が硬くなってしまいます。

太腿の裏の筋肉の柔軟性を高めるためには、子供の靴の選び方に気を付けることが挙げられます。足に合わない靴は子供の頭痛や腰痛を誘発してしまいます。子供の足の骨格は6歳までにだいたい決まります。マジックテープの靴を履いている小学生が多いですが、このような靴では中で足が動いてしまい、不安定になりやすくなります。すると、かかとの骨が安定せず、アキレス腱が痛くなってしまう可能性があります。余裕のあるひも靴を、しっかり結んで履くといいでしょう。また、ストレッチも効果的です。後ろに手をついて足を伸ばして座る子供は要注意です。

お母さんに伝えたい子どもの病気ホームケアガイド
日本外来小児科学会
医歯薬出版
売り上げランキング: 16,902

まとめ:子供の頭痛や腰痛は身体からの危険信号

最近の子供は、昔よりも明らかに運動量が減っている傾向にあります。そのため、子供の頭痛や腰痛の増加につながっているとも言えます。体格は昔よりも平均身長が伸びていますが、体力面は弱くなっています。その原因はテレビゲームの普及や遊ぶ場所の減少と言われています。

子供の頭痛や腰痛は身体からの危険信号です。生活習慣を見直して、気を付けられることを子供と一緒に見つけ、頭痛や腰痛で辛い思いをさせないようにしてあげたいですね。また、できるだけ外遊びをさせることも大切です。

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