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Back Pain Prevalence Is Associated With Curve-type and Severity in Adolescents With Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Cross-sectional Study

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Abstract

Study Design.

A cross-sectional study.

Objectives.

The aim of this study was to investigate spinal pain prevalence in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and to explore associations between pain intensity and pain-related disability with scoliosis site, severity, and spinal bracing.

Summary of Background Data.

The causal link between spinal pain and AIS remains unclear. Spinal asymmetry has been recognized as a back pain risk factor, which is a known cause of care-seeking in adolescents.

Methods.

Participants were recruited from an outpatient tertiary-care scoliosis clinic. Pain intensity and pain-related disability were measured by the Brief Pain Inventory questionnaire and the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire. Scoliosis severity estimation was performed using Cobb angles. Associations were explored using multiple linear regressions and reported with unstandardized beta coefficients (β) adjusted for age and sex.

Results.

We recruited 500 patients (85% female) with mean (SD) age of 14.2 (1.8) years. Means (SD) of thoracic and lumbar Cobb angle were 24.54(9.77) and 24.13 (12.40), respectively. Spinal pain prevalence was 68% [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 64.5–72.4] with a mean intensity of 1.63 (SD, 1.89). Spinal pain intensity was positively associated with scoliosis severity in the main thoracic (P = 0.003) and lumbar (P = 0.001) regions. The mean (SD) disability score was 1.73 (2.98). Disability was positively associated with scoliosis severity in the proximal thoracic (P = 0.035), main thoracic (P = 0.000), and lumbar (P = 0.000) regions.

Conclusion.

Spinal pain is common among patients with AIS, and greater spinal deformity was associated with higher pain intensity. These findings should inform clinical decision-making when caring for patients with AIS.

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