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Back pain in Portuguese schoolchildren: prevalence and risk factors.

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Back pain in Portuguese schoolchildren: prevalence and risk factors.

Eur J Public Health. 2013 Jun;23(3):499-503

Authors: Trigueiro MJ, Massada L, Garganta R

BACKGROUND: Regarding children aged ? 10 years, only a few international studies were conducted to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for back pain. Although other studies on the older Portuguese children point to prevalence between 17% and 39%, none exists for this specific age-group. Thus, the aim of this study was conducted to establish the prevalence of and risk factors for back pain in schoolchildren aged 7-10 years.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey among 637 children was conducted. A self-rating questionnaire was used to verify prevalence and duration of back pain, life habits, school absence, medical treatments or limitation of activities. For posture assessment, photographic records with a bio-photogrammetric analysis were used to obtain data about head, acromion and pelvic alignment, horizontal alignment of the scapulae, vertical alignment of the trunk and vertical body alignment.
RESULTS: Postural problems were found in 25.4% of the children, especially in the 8- and 9-year-old groups. Back pain occurs in 12.7% with the highest values among the 7- and 10-year-old children. The probability of back pain increased 7 times when the children presented a history of school absences, 4.3 times when they experienced sleeping difficulties, 4.4 times when school furniture was uncomfortable, 4.7 times if the children perceived an occurrence of parental back pain and 2.5 times when children presented incorrect posture.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of school absences, parental pain, sleeping difficulties, inappropriate school furniture and postural deviations at the sagittal and frontal planes seem to prove the multifactorial aetiology of back pain.

PMID: 22874731 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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