Low-back pain in adolescents is associated with poor hip mobility and high body mass index

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The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether body mass index (BMI) and hip mobility are associated with low-back pain (LBP) in adolescents. The study population included all adolescents in 8th and 9th grades in a rural and in an urban area in Eastern Norway. Eighty-eight adolescents participated (mean age 14.7 years), making the response rate 84%. LBP was assessed by a questionnaire answered in the classrooms as pain/discomfort in the low back during the preceding year. Body height and weight were measured, and BMI was calculated. Hip mobility was measured as active movements by a goniometer. The level of significance was set to P ≤ 0.05. In bivariate analysis for the whole group, LBP was associated positively with a higher than mean BMI, while LBP among boys was associated with a less than mean hip flexion, internal rotation, and hamstrings flexibility. In multiple regression analyses, adjusting for gender and well-being, LBP was associated with a higher than mean BMI, a less than mean hamstrings flexibility, and a less than mean hip flexion. The results suggest further prospective research to investigate whether poor hip mobility and high BMI may predict juvenile LBP.

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