Nonspecific Low Back Pain in 5000 Iranian School-age Children

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Low back pain (LBP) is common in adult population, and it is becoming a serious health concern in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of nonspecific LBP and associated risk factors in school-age children. After ethical approval, a cross-sectional study was conducted on 5000 randomly recruited secondary schoolchildren aged 11-14 years in the north of Iran. A structured questionnaire including questions concerning demographic, mechanical, and lifestyle data as well as the prevalence and characteristics of LBP was used. Of the original sample, 4813 (96.2%) children returned the questionnaire. Point, last month, last 6 months, and annual prevalence were 15%, 14.4%, 15.6%, and 17.4%, respectively. No association was found between schoolbag weight and prevalence of LBP (P = 0.824). Low back pain was significantly correlated with age (P = 0.000), position and time spent watching television (P = 0.028 and P = 0.002, respectively), position and duration of homework (P = 0.021 and P = 0.012, respectively). There was no association between LBP and body mass index (P = 0.596) or between LBP and sex (P = 0.412). The results indicated that the prevalence of LBP in schoolchildren is relatively high. Further studies focusing on the effect of different preventive strategies to reduce the impact of such a problem in schoolchildren is strongly recommended.

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