Accelerometer-Determined Physical Activity and Clinical Low Back Pain Measures in Adolescents With Chronic or Subacute Recurrent Low Back Pain

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Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

BACKGROUND:

Although low back pain (LBP) occurs commonly in adolescence, little is known about the relationship between objectively measured physical activity and chronic LBP.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the relationship between an objective physical activity measure (accelerometer) and standard clinical measures (pain intensity, disability, and quality of life) in a sample of adolescents with recurrent or chronic LBP.

METHODS:

The study included a subsample of 143 adolescents, 12 to 18 years of age, from a randomized clinical trial. Pearson correlations (r) and bivariate linear regression were used to assess the relationship between baseline measures of sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity using accelerometers and clinical measures of LBP (pain intensity, disability, and quality of life).

RESULTS:

Participants spent an average of 610.5 minutes in sedentary activity, 97.6 minutes in light physical activity, and 35.6 minutes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day. Physical activity was very weakly associated with clinical measures of LBP (r<0.13). None of the assessed correlations were statistically significant, and bivariate regression models showed that physical activity measures explained very little of the variability for clinical measures of LBP (R2<0.02).

CONCLUSION:

We found no important relationship between objectively measured physical activity and self-reported LBP intensity, disability, or quality of life in adolescents with recurrent or chronic LBP. The parent randomized clinical trial was registered at ClinicalTrials. gov (NCT01096628).

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