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Back Pain in Children Progresses to Adult Years

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 09:32

This report was based on a 25-year prospective cohort study and designed as a self-administered questionnaire with low back pain as the main topic. OBJECTIVE. To identify whether radiologic changes in the thoracic and lumbar spine and a history of low back pain in the adolescent period represent risk factors for low back pain in adults. Six-hundred-forty 14-year-old school children were examined with x-rays of the thoracic and lumbar spine and registered by the school doctor regarding a history of low back pain. Eleven percent of the cohort had a history of low back pain in adolescence, and the results showed an 84% lifetime prevalence of low back pain in these subjects as adults and an increased frequency of low back pain the last month and week before they answered the questionnaire, compared with the rest of the cohort.

This study suggests that low back pain in the growth period is "a real problem," with a trend toward aggravation as time passes. Thus, implementing preventive measures in schools may be very important.

Harreby M, Neergaard K, Hesselsoe G, Kjer J   Are radiologic changes in the thoracic and lumbar spine of adolescents risk factors for low back pain in adults? A 25-year prospective cohort study of 640 school children   Spine 1995 (Nov 1);   20 (21):   2298-2302